Once considered a luxury, air conditioners are now a must-have for the modern home in Malaysia’s hot and humid climate. Air conditioners not only cool, but also filter and purify the air to create a comfortable indoor environment. They come in various styles, shapes, designs and with different features, but which unit you get will depend on what you need.
What are the common types of air conditioners available on the market, and which one is the best for you? Explore below:
1. Split Air Conditioners
- Common with various brands, designs and special features to choose from
- Relatively easy to install, use and maintain
- Silent and efficient at cooling medium-sized areas
- Initial cost per unit and installation can be pricey
- Permanent and inflexible
- Maintenance can be a hassle
This is the most common and recognisable type of air conditioning unit for homes. It’s ‘split’ because it has two components:
1) an indoor unit – the oblong you see mounted on walls – that houses the blower, cooling coil, and filter
2) an outdoor unit housing the clunky cooling system including the compressor, condenser, and tubing or expansion coil.
Split air conditioners are relatively affordable and easy to install, although you’ll need professional help to do so properly. Most modern units are energy-efficient, silent, and offer allergy-friendly filtration systems for fresher, cleaner air. They also save floor space as they are often mounted on the wall, although cleaning and maintenance can be a hassle if they are hard to reach! Split units require occasional cleaning to ensure performance and hygiene, and can be done on your own, although you should get the help of professionals for things like leaks and coolant replacement.
Suitable for: Cooling individual rooms and areas in a small or medium-sized home
If you need help getting your aircond serviced or cleaned, our professional aircond contractors can help!
2. Central Air Conditioners
- Centralised cooling system that is easy to access and maintain
- Maintains a consistent temperature throughout the whole building
- Quiet and unobtrusive
- Can be inefficient and costly for smaller homes
- Maintenance and cleaning can be a hassle
- Risk of pathogens and allergen buildup is not cleaned properly
This is the type you commonly see in offices, shops, and larger homes. In this system, air is cooled in a centralised location and circulated around the area through a system of vent and ducts.
The cooling component is often located somewhere unobtrusive, such as outdoors, in the basement, or designated rooms in buildings. Because the main cooling components are all in one place, maintenance is pretty straightforward and easy. However, cleaning the vents and filters can be a hassle, but is crucial to ensure the unit functions optimally. Improper cleaning can also risk allergens and pathogens to build up and ‘infect’ a building.
It’s a better option if you want to cool large areas or multiple rooms at the same time. However, centralised systems tend to be less energy efficient than split units and costly for smaller homes to install, use, and maintain.
Suitable for: Cooling or controlling temperature in a large area or multiple rooms at the same time
3. Window Air Conditioners
- Small, simple, and does not take up a lot of space
- Can be bought and used immediately without the need for professional installation
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Can be removed or installed as and when needed
- Cooling power is modest
- Not all windows are compatible with the air conditioning units
- Security risks
The cooling and blowing system is built into one small, compact unit designed to fit in your window. Air from the outside is drawn into the unit, cooled, and blown into your room, while warm air from inside is vented out.
Most units are modestly powered and designed to cool only a small area or a particular room. They can be bought and used immediately as they do not need professional installation. Window air conditioners can also be installed or removed easily as and when needed. Maintenance is pretty easy, as the unit is small and simple.
Modern units are easy to use and do not produce a lot of noise, although cooling efficiency may be an issue. Installation can also be troublesome as not all types of windows are compatible with window air conditioning units. Also, your window space will essentially be taken up by the unit. Because you need to keep your window open to fit the unit, your room’s security might be at risk.
Suitable for: Cooling small areas or individual rooms
4. Portable Air Conditioners
- Can be moved around easily to the places you want to keep cool
- Easy to use without the need for professional installation
- Simple to clean and maintain
- Cooling power is modest
- Can be costly if you need to constantly cool a larger space
- Takes up foot space
Compact and movable, portable airconds are designed to cool only a particular area or room. Similar to window units, they blow cooled air into an area and warm air out through a single duct connected to a window or outlet. They tend to be modestly powered, silent and tend to produce a dehumidifying effect to the air. Portable air conditioners are a good choice if you need a convenient cooling unit that is movable, simple to use and relatively easy to clean.
While portable air conditioners are cheaper by the unit, they are considerably more expensive if you consider the amount of power and cooling effect they bring. They are also not as energy efficient or silent as fixed units, although modern versions tend to perform better. These units also take up floor space and could get in the way.
Suitable for: When you need to cool small areas or individual room occasionally, or when you need an air conditioner that is easy to move around.
The best air conditioner for you will depend entirely on what you need. But whether you’re going for the familiar split air conditioner or trying out a portable one, proper use, and maintenance will ensure your unit gives you the best performance, a lasting service, and a comfortable, cool environment.
For the best air conditioner servicing experience, consult one of the many professional air conditioner services available on Kaodim today!