New split system air conditioners are worlds apart from the early models that first hit the market in the 70s. Today's split systems are smaller, quieter and more energy efficient, but they also come with a host of features that make using them more enjoyable and convenient for homeowners.
If you are next in the market for a new air conditioner, these are some features worth considering:
Smart Phone Operation
Many major brands of air conditioning allow homeowners to turn their smartphone or tablet into a remote control for their AC system. Simply download the company app, and you have another control panel in the palm of your hand, which will save searching for the remote, worrying about changing batteries, or only having the one remote. Many smartphone apps allow wireless capabilities so users can turn on (and off) the air conditioner remotely from wherever they may be, returning to a cool house.
Inverter systems use less energy to maintain a temperature, removing power hungry 'stop/start' cycles. The difference is in the compressor motor, which operates at half capacity, instead of a regular compressor that switches between maximum capacity and intermittingly turning off. Because they operate at a reduced load, they use between 30-50 per cent less energy than traditional systems.
Reverse Cycle Systems
As well as cooling the home, reverse cycle reverse the flow of refrigerant over a heating coil to warm the home during the cooler months. However in areas with temperatures colder than 5 degrees Celsius they may struggle to heat a home effectively. A reverse cycle system is also far more energy efficient and safer than a traditional electric heater. This makes investing in a reverse cycle system a smart way to control a home's temperature in summer and winter using just the one system.
Despite new split systems becoming increasingly quiet, some are still louder than others, and especially in a bedroom environment the quietness of a split system is important to consider. Many new split systems operate at a very low 22db, slightly louder than a whisper.
Sleep Timers and Economy Mode
To avoid leaving your air conditioner on when you're not using or enjoying it, many new systems include sleep timers which are beneficial for bedrooms and other instances when you want to keep it running only for a certain period. Other split systems have an economy mode, which will automatically reduce power consumption and adjust the system's cooling power based on the room's ambient temperature.
Finally, it may be worth looking for deodorising properties in your washable air conditioning filter. Many of these contain oxidising and deodorising capabilities, which can remove chemical substances such as ammonia in the air, and also help to improve air quality by removing dust, pollen and other allergens from the air. Some filters also inject Catechin in their fibres, a bioflavonoid found in green tea, which has can antioxidant and antiviral properties.
There's no doubt that modern split systems have come a long way with their features. While more features usually means a more expensive system, based upon your running costs, and what you need the system for often they are an investment worth making so you can run a system that's based around the needs of your family and lifestyle.