Choosing an air-conditioner and understanding BTU

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There’s more to choosing the right air-conditioner for your needs than mere design. Samsung is well-known as a leader in air-conditioning systems, from the innovative Wind-Free technology and the exquisite Q9000 unit, to the highly efficient triangle design, there are solutions to fit any requirements. But, just how do you figure out which air-conditioner will suit your unique needs?

British Thermal Unit (BTU)

First, you need to understand how much cooling and heating is needed for the space. British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a traditional unit of heat, or thermal energy much like the measurement of a calorie. It is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. When it comes to heating and cooling systems, the measurement is BTU per hour. When choosing an air-conditioner this measurement is expressed in terms of how much heat can be added or removed from the air.

More isn’t always the best, either. For example, a unit with a higher BTU than what is required for the room means that the air will cool quickly, but then the unit will be forced to shut off and on again if not equipped with Samsung’s digital inverter compressor. A digital inverter compressor ensures the air conditioner maintains a constant temperature in the room by slowing down and speeding up as needed. With traditional air conditioners, a lower than ideal BTU will also mean your room is unlikely to reach optimal heat or chill.

Choosing an air conditioner

Robert Larkan, Head of Digital Air Solutions for Samsung South Africa, says it is important to understand the space where it will be used when choosing an air-conditioner. “Calculating the required BTU’s is an essential part of the decision-making process.”

For example, the walls and windows exposed to direct sunlight gain heat during different times of the day which increase the amount of cooling required, but ideal materials, insulation and shaded areas can limit its effect. Addressing the space and not just the floor area is important, as the volume can vary due to different ceiling heights.

“The number of occupants and the activity taking place also makes a difference. Some appliances can increase the levels of heat and you may need to compensate the cooling power,” adds Larkan.

Cooling space

Also consider whether the space you are cooling is open or confined. If the room opens into another space without the option of closing a door, add that space to the calculation.

While this may sound a little complicated, Larkan concludes “These are calculations that your air-conditioner installer will make for you. Contact Fourways Air Conditioning (011) 704-6320 for your nearest accredited Samsung installer.”

It’s good to understand what will be considered, so you can make a well-informed decision.