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Which aircon to buy?

February 17, 2009

I’m looking for a 1 horsepower room aircon to buy. Got a good brand to recommend?

I would’ve gotten my landlord to replace the unit in my bedroom if he was here but he’s not. He’s in Perth so I have to do it myself. He has agreed to knock the cost off my rental.

The existing unit which looks a bit ancient has formed a mind of its own by changing temperature settings and fan speeds at random. I’m told you can’t get parts for Sanyo brand aircons any more.

Its costing me my sleep. I actually don’t mind the warmth. Its the humidity that kills me.

So anyway, after shopping around last weekend and cutting thru the hype, I decided it must be an inverter model and after talking to a few people, its down to a choice between a Panasonic Envio and a Daikin.

The Envio’s pluses: Inverter, ionizer, modern look.

The Daikin’s pluses: Inverter, motion sensor, cheaper by $300.

I’m familiar with Daikin because that’s what we install at home in Singapore, plus a couple Hitachis, and its never given us a problem. What I don’t like about it is the models here look like a throwback to the 90’s, especially the remote. Really nothing much to look at, not that I’ll be staring at my aircon all day. 🙂

The Envio has an ionizer, a contraption that I’ve never had any reason to get to be honest. I don’t cook or smoke or do anything to make my environment smoky or dusty so….

But in terms of eco-friendliness (electricity consumption), as both brands are inverter based, the Daikin looks more promising only because of one unique thing – its motion sensor. The aircon cuts down to low gear if it senses no one is in the room after 20 minutes. Its a brochureware promise, don’t know if it actually translates into a lower electricity bill in real life.

Let’s see what I end up installing this weekend.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. LC Teh permalink
    February 17, 2009 10:35 am

    I don’t see how the motion sensor helps in lowering electricity usage. If there’s someone in the room, the thermostat detects heat rising, tells the compressor to run and it works to lower it. If it slows the blower fan it still has to speed up again to lower the temp. Am I missing something?

    I suspect the system assumes that most people don’t want to cool a room if its vacant. Its useful for people who move a lot between their room and other areas in the house, especially if you run a home-office. Ppl can switch off the a/c manually when they briefly step out but not everyone’s as diligent. In contrast a thermostat-based system kick starts the condensor whether a room is vacant or not, and if your room has big glass windows and faces the sun, you’ll pay thru your nose.

    So the motion sensor system “eats” electricity only when you are there. The thermostat system “eats” whether you are there or not. Just my assumption, I may be wrong. 🙂

  2. LC Teh permalink
    February 18, 2009 8:47 am

    Sounds logical to me. But that starting up and ramming the temp down again when someone enters the room is still eating electricity, although I don’t know by how much in comparison to keeping optimnum all the time. Possibly it’s like the fridge. I figured out that during the month when we get several power outages the bill shoots up higher by a significant notch. Perhaps the bigger differences in room and fridge temp is the cause. So maybe in countries where outside temp and room temp are not too drastically different, there may be some savings. Otherwise the benefit here is probably only convenience.

    I think the so-called inverter technology was invented to eliminate the start-stop cycles. The literature says inverters let variable speed compressors speed up if needed, slow down if not needed. It theorizes that sine wave temp control consumes less than chock-a-block. Well, lets see if the electricity bill agrees. 🙂


  1. Which aircon to buy? Part 2 « Damien Tan

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