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Air Conditioners 

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Air Conditioners: specifications, types

Type

General type of air conditioner.

Nowadays, on the market you can mainly find split systems, multi-split systems, mobile devices. More rare options are window models and monoblocks. Here is a more detailed description of each of these options:

— Split system. The most popular type of modern air conditioners. Such models consist of two blocks — internal and external. The outdoor unit is mounted on the outer wall of the building and is responsible for heat exchange with the environment — it is through it that excess heat is discharged (or vice versa, external heat is taken into the room, when working for heating). The internal block settles down in the room, the conditioned air comes from it. Both blocks are connected by pipes through which the coolant circulates. Air conditioners of this type are convenient, in particular, because the indoor unit can be installed almost anywhere in the room; and in some models, the indoor units have an unusual design (see below), which allows such devices to organically fit even into non-standard interiors. Also note that split systems can have almost any performance, among them there are models of both household and industrial levels, and the installation of such air conditioners is relatively simple. All this led to their popularity.

— Multi-split system. A kind of split-systems (...see above), in which there are several internal ones for one external unit. This arrangement allows using one air conditioner to organize climate control in several rooms at once, while the installation of such a system is easier, and the cost is cheaper than using separate split systems.

— Mobile. Air conditioners in the form of a single unit, designed for the possibility of frequent movement from place to place; in some models, wheels are even provided for this. For heat exchange with the external environment, such devices use air ducts that lead out of a window, doorway, ventilation shaft, etc. A mobile air conditioner can be a real salvation where it is not possible to install a stationary device: it does not require complex installation work , just figure out where to bring the duct pipe. In addition, such a unit can be useful in a situation where you need to cool several rooms in turn, and it is difficult or impossible to install a stationary air conditioner (air conditioners) for this purpose.

— Window. Air conditioners in the form of a single unit, installed directly in the window opening — so that one side of the device is indoors, the other is outdoors. This is one of the first types of air conditioners, but nowadays it is considered obsolete and is extremely rare — mainly due to the complexity of installation and a very limited choice of installation locations. In addition, such an assembly inevitably covers part of the window, which in some cases is also a serious drawback.

— Monoblock. Stationary air conditioners in the form of a single unit with wall installation. Such a unit is located inside the room, on the wall facing the outside, and heat exchange is provided by air ducts passed through the wall, through which the outside air enters the heat exchanger and exits it. Such a design allows you to do without outdoor units, which is very convenient in some situations — for example, if an air conditioner is needed for a historical building or for a house in a strictly defined design that does not allow unnecessary "decorations" on the facade. On the other hand, monoblocks are expensive, and the possibilities for their installation are very limited.

Operating modes

General modes of operation provided for in the air conditioner.

Cooling and ventilation modes are in each model by definition. But air conditioners with humidification are relatively rare. For them, the opposite format is mandatory - dehumidification and heating.

- Cooling. The mode of lowering the air temperature in the room is the main function of any air conditioner. Note that conventional air conditioners, when cooled, also remove moisture from the air, however, due to a decrease in temperature, the relative humidity in this mode changes slightly (or does not change at all).

- Ventilation. The mode in which the air conditioner provides only air circulation throughout the room, without changing its temperature and humidity. Such an opportunity can be useful, for example, for air mixing and temperature equalization; in addition, when passing through the air conditioner, the air is filtered, which is useful, for example, for cleaning from dust and smoke, or for ensuring hygiene in a room where a sick person is. Let us emphasize that ventilation must be distinguished from the admixture of fresh air(see "Functions"): the possibility of adding air from outside is very rare and only in expensive models of air conditioners.

- Dehumidification. Mode for removing excess moisture from the air. This function wo...rks by condensing water vapor on the cold heat exchanger of the air conditioner; the collected moisture is usually removed to the outside through a drainage tube or accumulates in a special reservoir. Note that condensation also occurs in the cooling mode (see above); the dehumidification mode differs from it in that the temperature of the air passed through the air conditioner changes very slightly - usually by no more than 1 ° C - but the humidity drops very noticeably.

— Heating. The mode of increasing the air temperature in the room. It should be borne in mind that most air conditioners with this function are not designed to be used as full-fledged heating systems - their task is to "help" such systems, as well as heating in the off-season, when the main heating does not work. In addition, the permissible outside temperature (see “Minimum t for heating mode”) can be different: for example, not every unit with a heating mode is able to work in cold weather. On the other hand, there are exceptions - powerful cold-resistant models, approaching the characteristics of heat pumps and withstanding temperatures of -25 ° C and even lower.

- Hydration. Humidity increase mode. A similar need often arises in winter: when the air is heated from heating devices, its relative humidity decreases (and the overall comfort in the room is associated precisely with relative humidity). In addition, in rooms where there are small children, it is recommended to specially humidify the air. The humidification mode in air conditioners is extremely rare and only in premium models. And for the operation of the humidifier, a supply of water is required, which must be monitored and periodically replenished.

Mounting type

The type of installation is specified for the indoor unit of the air conditioner.

The classic most popular mounting option these days is the wall mount. It is these air conditioners that are most often used for living rooms and small office premises, although among them there are also heavy powerful equipment that can serve a large area. Units with the possibility of floor or ceiling installation have similar specifics, but they are not so common. And purely floor air conditioners are even rarer, and their power is generally low; heavy and powerful floor units are classified as a separate category - columned.

Ceiling (cassette) units are excellent for servicing rooms with partitions, including quite extensive ones. You should pay attention to channel models if you need to serve several rooms at once with a common duct system. The portable type of installation clearly means that we have a mobile air conditioner (see "Type"). But units with installation in a window frame, which were quite popular at one time, are now considered obsolete and are rarely used (although they can also come in handy in certain situations).

Here is a more detailed description of each mounting type:

- Wall mo...unted. Mounting on the wall - usually in the upper part, under the ceiling. In most rooms, this type of placement causes the least inconvenience and gives the most freedom in choosing the installation location. So, the space on the walls under the ceiling is usually not occupied by anything (or almost nothing), and the installation work is limited to the preparation of fixtures for hanging and holes for hoses connecting the indoor unit to the outdoor one. This is the reason for the popularity of wall-mounted air conditioners in our time.

- Outdoor. Relatively low-power air conditioners designed for installation on the floor, usually with a wall mount (heavy floor-standing units are classified into a separate category - columned, see below). In itself, such installation is somewhat simpler than wall mounting, in addition, the air flow from the floor unit is usually directed upwards, which minimizes the likelihood of drafts. On the other hand, not every room has enough space on the floor against the wall - especially since there must be some space in front of the air conditioner for efficient air intake. In addition, such placement increases the likelihood of accidentally touching the unit. Therefore, purely floor models are relatively rare, combined floor-ceiling air conditioners are more popular in our time (see below).

- Floor / subceiling. In fact - wall models, complemented by the possibility of installation on the floor against the wall. Both methods of installation are described in more detail above; here we note here that it is technically easy to provide two methods at once in one air conditioner, and such versatility makes the devices more attractive in the eyes of buyers. Therefore, such combined units in our time, although they are inferior in popularity to wall-mounted ones, are noticeably superior to purely floor ones.

— Cassette (ceiling). Ceiling mount, usually between fixed and suspended ceilings. Most air conditioners of this type are designed to service fairly large rooms, including tech with partitions. Such units are square in shape and direct the air flow in 4 directions at once; thus, the optimal place to install such an air conditioner is in the center of the room. However, there are also low-power ceiling models designed for small rooms; for such units, the air flow is directed in one direction, and they are mounted near the wall itself. In any case, the air flow from the cassette air conditioner is directed almost horizontally. This avoids drafts, and uniform cooling of the room is ensured by the fact that the heavier cold air from the air conditioner settles down, mixing with warm air.

- Channel. The name of such air conditioners is due to the fact that the air from them enters the room (rooms) not directly from the indoor unit, but through ventilation ducts. The unit itself, as a rule, is made completely hidden in a wall or behind a false ceiling. This format of work is very convenient in cases where cold air needs to be directed to several places at once, which are significantly remote from each other - for example, to several office premises at once. An alternative option for such cases is multi-split systems (see "Type"); however, a ducted air conditioner can be cheaper and easier to install, especially if the air outlets are already connected by a duct system, or if you need to serve a large area such as an entire building with several floors and a large number of individual rooms. The disadvantage of this option is that the intensity of cooling / heating will be the same for all serviced premises (whereas the multi-split allows you to adjust it individually for each indoor unit). In addition, in the absence of air ducts, their organization can be a rather time-consuming and expensive task.

- Column. Heavy duty floor mounted air conditioners. From the classic floor models (see above), in addition to high power, they differ in layout - in this case it is vertical, like a column (hence the name). In addition, such units usually do not require wall mounting (although many models allow it if necessary). A key feature of column air conditioners is the ability to create a powerful air flow that can quickly cool or warm up a large area. On the other hand, such a flow of air can create serious discomfort for a person nearby. Therefore, the best way to use columned units is to serve large areas where, for one reason or another, it is impossible to use other types of air conditioners (such as cassette). An air conditioner with this type of installation may be the best choice for a shop floor, a restaurant, a large hotel lobby, and even for a large room in a private house or apartment.

- Portable. An installation method found exclusively in mobile models. However, in addition to connecting to the mains, you will also need an outlet for the air hose.

— In the window frame. Air conditioners mounted in an opening in a window frame or wall. Such devices are distinguished into a separate variety, which is called window; for more about it, see "Type". Here we note that the installation of such units is a rather complicated and troublesome business, and the choice of installation sites for them is very limited. In many ways, this is why window air conditioners are not popular in our time.

Unusual design

Non-standard design of the indoor unit of the air conditioner.

An unusual design in this case is any design that differs markedly from the traditional “white rectangular case” option. Such air conditioners can have rounded outlines or non-standard proportions of the case, be made in different colours (in particular, red, black and dark grey are especially popular), and also be equipped with additional decorative elements — up to the frame where you can insert a picture as you wish. Thus, devices with this feature are not just household appliances, but also an element of decor; an unusual air conditioner can noticeably enliven even a completely standard room, and even for originally designed interiors, such equipment is simply irreplaceable.

In box

A set of components included in the delivery of the air conditioner.

This parameter is indicated only for split and multi-split systems (see "Type") — other types of air conditioners are made in the form of single units, and there is simply no need to specify the complete set for them. "Splits" can be supplied both in a complete set, and in separate blocks (both internal and external). Among traditional split systems, the first option is the most popular: it is most convenient to buy such a solution as a ready-made kit, and the purchase of a separate unit is required mainly if one of the original units breaks down. But the components of multi-split air conditioners, on the contrary, are most often sold separately — this makes it easy to assemble such a system for a specific situation by separately purchasing an external unit and the required number of internal ones.

Number of indoor units

The number of indoor units supplied with the air conditioner.

Split- and multi-split systems are divided into external and internal blocks (see "Type"). And the number of indoor modules in the kit depends on how many rooms the air conditioner can serve out of the box. However, in fact, this parameter, in fact, is more of a reference than practically significant. So, in a complete set (see "Settings"), by definition, split systems are supplied with one indoor unit. And in multi-splits, a complete set is rare and usually includes two such blocks; it is assumed that for the organization of a more extensive system it is more convenient to purchase an external unit and separately purchase the required number of internal ones for it. Separate indoor units of multi-split systems are also sold one by one.

Connectable indoor units

The number of indoor units that can be simultaneously connected to one outdoor unit.

Split- and multi-split systems are divided into external and internal blocks (see "Type"). And this parameter is indicated only for models supplied as a separate external module (see “Package contents”). However, split systems, by definition, work with only one indoor unit, so for them this information may not be specified at all. But for multi-split systems, it is of key importance — the number of internal components corresponds to the number of serviced rooms. The most modest of these air conditioners support only 2 – 3 indoor units ; however, even this is often enough, so such models are very popular. Often you can also find solutions for 4 – 5 blocks, and in the most powerful and performant solutions this number can be 6 – 10 or even more.

Recommended room area

The area of the room recommended for using the air conditioner in the main mode is for cooling.

Most often, this parameter is indicated by a simplified formula: about 100 W of effective air conditioner power is required per 1 m2 of room area. Thus, for example, for a model with a cooling capacity of 2200 W, the recommended area will be 2200/100 = 22 m2. However, these results are relevant only for standard conditions in residential and office premises: ceiling height of about 2.5 – 3 m, no strong heat gain, etc. For more specific situations, there are more detailed calculation formulas, they can be found in special sources. Well, anyway, choosing an air conditioner according to the recommended area, it's ok to take a margin of at least 15 – 20%: this will give an additional guarantee in case of emergency situations.

The recommended area up to 15 m2 for a modern air conditioner is considered very low, such units are designed to serve single rooms of a small area. For an average living room like a bedroom or living room, a 20 m2 or even 25 m2 model is better suited. Models of 30 m2 and above are already intended for at least studio apartments, and more often for office and industrial premises. And in the most powerful modern units, the recommended area can be 150 – 175 m2 or even more.

Note that the same general formula is used for the heating mode — “100 W per 1 m2”. At the same time, the effective power of most air conditioners in this mode is noticeably higher than in the cooling mode. So this item can also be used to select a unit with a heating function: an air conditioner capable of cooling a room of a certain area is almost guaranteed to be able to heat it (taking into account the relevant restrictions on the use — see "Operating modes").

Power consumption (cooling/heating)

Power consumption of the air conditioner in cooling and heating mode; for models without a heating function, respectively, only one number is given. This parameter should not be confused with the effective power of the air conditioner. Effective power is the amount of heat that the unit is able to "pump" into the environment or into the room (for more details, see "Power in cooling mode", "Power in heating mode"). This item also indicates the amount of electricity consumed by the device from the network.

In all air conditioners, the power consumption is several times lower than the effective one — this is due to the peculiarities of the operation of such units. At the same time, devices with the same efficiency may differ in power consumption. In such cases, the more economical models usually cost more, but with continued use, the difference can quickly pay off with less electricity consumption.

Also, two points related to electrical engineering depend on this nuance. Firstly, power consumption affects power requirements: models up to 3 – 3.5 kW can be connected to a regular outlet, while higher power consumption requires either direct power from the shield or a three-phase connection (see below). Secondly, the power consumption is needed to calculate the load on the network and the necessary parameters of additional equipment: stabilizers, emergency generators, uninterruptible power supplies, etc.

Power in cooling mode

The heat output of the air conditioner when operating in cooling mode, in other words, the amount of heat energy that the unit is able to transfer from the room to the external environment when operating in this mode.

In general, cooling power up to 2 kW for modern air conditioners is considered very limited, 2–3 kW is low, 3–4 kW is medium, 4–6 kW is above average, and in the heaviest and most performant models this figure can be 6–8 kW and even more. Also, the conventional unit BTU, originally from Britain, can be used to denote power; in our catalog, 1 BTU corresponds approximately to 293 W, however, for ease of choice, some deviations are allowed — for example, the 7 BTU category includes units with a power of 1.8 to 2.3 kW. Also on the market you can find air conditioners for 9, 12, 18, 24 BTU and more.

As for the choice for this indicator, the simplest formula is as follows: at least 100 W or 1/3 BTU of thermal power should fall on 1 m2 of the area of \u200b\u200bthe room. Thus, to estimate the maximum area served, the power in watts should be divided by 100, an...d the power in BTU should be multiplied by three. However, all these calculations are relevant only for standard residential / office premises with a ceiling height of about 2.5 – 3 m. For other conditions, you need to use a more complex formula, which is the sum of three parameters: 1) Q1 — the heat gain of the room itself, calculated by multiplying the area of the room to the height of the ceilings and the heat transfer coefficient (it ranges from 30 to 40 W, depending on the conditions); 2) Q2 — heat gain from operating equipment (on average, a third of the total power of all electrical appliances); 3) Q3 — heat gain from each person (from 100 W for sedentary work to 300 W for heavy physical exertion). More detailed recommendations regarding such calculations can be found in special sources.

A special case is represented by separately sold external units of air conditioners (see "Complete set"). In this case, the capacity in cooling mode is the highest heating capacity of the indoor unit (in the same mode, of course) that can be connected to this outdoor unit. For multi-split systems, respectively, the total indicator of all indoor units is taken into account.

Heating power

The power provided by the air conditioner in heating mode. It is indicated by the amount of thermal energy that the air conditioner is able to "pump" from the external environment into the room when operating in this mode. The most modest modern units have a heating power of 2 – 3 kW or even less, in the most performant it reaches 6 – 8 kW or more.

When evaluating this power, the same formulas are relevant that are used in calculating the power of traditional heating. So, for the full heating of an ordinary residential or office space (with ceilings of 2.5 – 3 m and normal thermal insulation), a thermal power of at least 100 W is required. There are more detailed calculation rules that allow you to calculate the necessary characteristics for other conditions. And if we are talking about a separately sold outdoor unit (see "Complete set"), then the meaning of this parameter is somewhat different — it indicates the maximum power of the indoor unit that can be connected to this outdoor unit to work in heating mode. For multi-split systems, respectively, the total capacity of all indoor units is taken into account.

Recall that most air conditioners are not designed for use as full-fledged heating systems. However, such a unit can be a good addition to the main heating system; it can also come in handy in the off-season when the he...ating is no longer working, but it's still pretty cool outside. At the same time, air conditioners are less expensive than electric heaters: the heater has an effective power equal to energy consumption, and the air conditioner consumes much less energy than it “supplies” to the heated room.

Also note that the unit BTU (more precisely, BTU/hour) can also be used to indicate the effective power (including in heating mode). This designation comes from Britain, 1 BTU (BTU / h) initially corresponds to 0.293 W, and the numbers in the characteristics of air conditioners correspond to thousands of BTU / h. For example, a 7 BTU air conditioner will produce an effective power of 7000 BTU / h, or about 2 kW. In fact, such marking is convenient because BTU can easily determine the recommended area of a standard room (in m2): just multiply the figure indicated in the characteristics by 3. So, in our example, the power of 7 BTU will correspond to an area of 7 * 3 = 21 m2.

Air circulation

The amount of air that an air conditioner can pass through itself in an hour.

This indicator depends on the power and the overall level of the device, but there is no strict dependence here: models with the same effective power may differ in air circulation speed. In such cases, it is worth proceeding from the fact that a higher speed contributes to uniform cooling / heating of the air and reduces the time required to create a given microclimate; on the other hand, higher performing air conditioners use more energy, are larger and/or cost more.

Moisture removal

The rate at which moisture is removed from the air when the air conditioner is operating for dehumidification.

The amount of excess moisture that accumulates in the air depends on a number of parameters; there are special formulas and even calculator programs that allow you to calculate this amount for a particular situation. These calculation methods can be found in special sources. It should also be said here that air conditioners are not full-fledged dehumidifiers, so their performance in this mode is generally low.

Noise level (max/min)

The maximum and minimum level of noise produced by the air conditioner during operation; for split and multi-split systems (see "Type"), by default it is indicated for the indoor unit, and the data for the outdoor unit can be specified in the notes.

The noise level is indicated in decibels; this is a non-linear unit, so it is easiest to evaluate this parameter using comparative tables — they can be found in special sources. Here we note that, according to sanitary standards, the maximum level of constant noise for residential premises is 40 dB during the day and 30 dB at night; for offices, this figure is 50 dB, and in industrial premises higher volume levels may be allowed. So it is worth choosing an air conditioner according to this indicator, taking into account where and how it is planned to use it.

As for specific indicators, among the quietest modern air conditioners there are models with a minimum performance of 23 – 24 dB, 22 – 21 dB, and sometimes even 20 dB or less. However, units at 31 – 31 dB and 33 – 34 dB are not uncommon; such loudness, usually, does not create discomfort in the daytime, but at night it is no longer desirable. However, in some cases, a louder air conditioner may be the best choice: noise reduction affects the cost, sometimes quite noticeably, and if the device is...not planned to be turned on at night, you can not overpay for additional noise reduction.

Cooling EER

Cooling factor EER provided by the air conditioner. It is calculated as the ratio of the useful operating power of the air conditioner in cooling mode to the electricity consumption. For example, a device that delivers 6 kW of operating power in cooling mode and consumes 2 kW will have an EER 6/2 = 3.

The higher this indicator, the more economical the air conditioner is and the higher its cooling energy efficiency class (see below). Actually, each class has its own clear requirements for EER.

It is worth noting that this indicator is considered not very reliable, and in the European Union another coefficient has been introduced that is closer to practice — SEER. See Seasonal Cooling SEER for more details.

Heating COP

The heating coefficient COP provided by the air conditioner. It is calculated as the ratio of the heat output of the air conditioner in heating mode to the electricity consumption. For example, if a device consumes 2 kW and produces 5 kW of thermal power, then the COP will be 5/2 = 2.5.

The higher this indicator, the more economical the air conditioner is and the higher its energy efficiency class when heating (see below). Actually, each class has its own clear COP requirements.

Note that COP values are usually higher than the values of another important coefficient — EER (see above). This is due to the technical features of the air conditioners.

It is also worth mentioning that since 2013, a more advanced and closer to practice coefficient, SCOP, has been put into use in Europe. See "Seasonal Heating Coefficient SCOP" for more details.

Seasonal Cooling SEER

The seasonal SEEr cooling factor provided by the air conditioner.

The meaning of this parameter is similar to the "usual" cooling coefficient — EER (see above): we are talking about the ratio of useful power to spent, and the higher the coefficient, the more efficient the device is. The difference between these parameters lies in the measurement method: EER is measured for strictly standard conditions (outside temperature +35 °C, workload 100%), while SEER is closer to reality — it takes into account seasonal temperature fluctuations (for Europe) and some other specific points, such as the increased efficiency of inverter compressors. Therefore, since 2013, it is customary to use SEER as the main parameter in the EU; this characteristic was also adopted for air conditioners supplied to other countries with a similar climate.

Seasonal heating SCOP coefficient

Seasonal heating factor SCOP provided by the air conditioner.

Like the “normal” COP (see above), this parameter describes the overall efficiency of the air conditioner in heating operation and is calculated by the formula: thermal (useful) power divided by electricity consumption. The higher the coefficient, the more efficient the device, respectively. And the difference between COP and SCOP is that COP is measured under strictly standard conditions (outside temperature +7 °C, full workload), and SCOP takes into account seasonal temperature fluctuations (for Europe), changes in air conditioner operating modes, the presence of an inverter and some other options. Thanks to this, SCOP is closer to real indicators, and since 2013 this coefficient has been taken as the main one in the territory of the European Union. However, this characteristic is also used for air conditioners supplied to other countries with a similar climate.

Energy efficiency EER (cooling)

The general energy efficiency class that the air conditioner complies with in cooling operation.

This indicator is indicated by Latin letters from A (highest efficiency) and beyond. It is directly related to the value of the EER factor (see "Cooling EER factor"): each individual energy efficiency class corresponds to a certain range of factors (for example, B — from 3.0 to 3.2). Specific coefficient values for each class can be found in special tables; here we note that more efficient air conditioners are more expensive, but this difference can pay off due to energy savings.

Energy efficiency COP (heating)

The general energy efficiency class that the air conditioner corresponds to when operating in heating.

This indicator is indicated by Latin letters from A (highest efficiency) and beyond. It is directly related to the value of the COP coefficient (see "Heating COP coefficient"): each individual energy efficiency class corresponds to a certain range of coefficients (for example, C — from 3.2 to 3.4). Specific coefficient values for each class can be found in special tables; here we note that more efficient air conditioners are more expensive, but this difference can pay off due to energy savings.

SEER energy efficiency (cooling)

The seasonal energy efficiency class that the air conditioner complies with in cooling operation. Initially, this parameter was designated in Latin letters from A(the most economical indicator) to G (the most expensive); however, more efficient classes than A appeared later — A +, A ++ and A +++(the more pluses, the higher the energy efficiency).

This indicator is directly related to the value of the SEER coefficient. For more information on this factor and how it differs from the "normal" EER, see "Seasonal Cooling SEER Ratio". Here we note that each class has its own range of SEER values; detailed correspondence tables can be found in special sources.

Other things being equal, more energy efficient air conditioners are more expensive, but the difference can be recouped as you use it in energy savings.

Energy efficiency SCOP (heating)

The seasonal energy efficiency class that the air conditioner complies with when operating for heating. Initially, this parameter was designated in Latin letters from A(the most economical indicator) to G (the most expensive); however, more efficient classes than A appeared later — A +, A ++ and A +++(the more pluses, the higher the energy efficiency).

This indicator is directly related to the value of the SCOP coefficient. For more information about this coefficient and how it differs from the "normal" COP, see "Seasonal Heating SCOP". Here we note that each class has its own range of SCOP values; detailed tables can be found in special sources.

Other things being equal, more energy efficient air conditioners are more expensive, but the difference can be recouped as you use it in energy savings.

Functions

Additional features provided by the device.

In addition to features directly related to the main purpose (such as inverter, night mode or standby heating), modern air conditioners can also provide very specific functions — such as ionizer, fresh air admixture, air pollution sensor, presence sensor, vertical blinds drive etc. For ease of operation, a connection to a smartphone and/or an advanced I Feel remote control with a temperature sensor can be provided, and for ease of maintenance, self- cleaning and/or self-diagnosis. Here is a detailed description of these features:

Inverter control. The presence of a compressor with inverter power control in the air conditioner. Models without an inverter have only two modes of operation — full power and "off"; and the set intensity of heating/cooling is provided by turning the compressor on and off for certain periods of time. In turn, the principle of inverter control is to smoothly change the compressor power, which avoids constant switching on and off. This format of work provides a number of advantages: minimal wear, no power...surges and unnecessary load on the network, as well as a comfortable (low and stable) noise level. The main disadvantage of inverter models is the rather high cost.

— Auto-selection of the operating mode. A function that relieves the user of the need to manually control the parameters of the air conditioner. In fact, it is enough just to set the desired microclimate in the room — after that the unit will independently monitor the current conditions and select the desired operating mode. Most often, this function provides temperature monitoring and automatic switching between cooling and heating, but advanced models may provide more advanced features, such as humidity monitoring with automatic dehumidification or even humidification.

— Timer. A function that allows you to set the time for automatic shutdown of the air conditioner. Thanks to the timer, you can, for example, start the air conditioner before going to bed and fall asleep peacefully without worrying about turning off the device — it will turn itself off after a user-defined time. And in some models, the timer is part of the night mode (see below).

— Night operation. A function that allows you to use the air conditioner as comfortably as possible at night. There are two main features of this mode. First, the fan speed is set to a minimum, which reduces noise and avoids strong air currents that can disturb sleepers. Secondly, the change in temperature occurs very slowly and smoothly — by a couple of degrees within two to three hours; this is considered optimal for sleep. Additionally, in the night mode, a timer can be provided that turns off the air conditioner after 7 – 8 hours.

— Auto restart. Automatic restoration of air conditioner settings after a power outage. Simply put, when power is restored, a device with this function will continue to operate in the same mode as before the power outage.

— Ionizer. A module that saturates the air passing through the air conditioner with ions — charged particles. Negatively charged ions give a feeling of freshness to the air, have a bactericidal effect, and are also considered beneficial to health in general.

— A mixture of air. Possibility to mix fresh air from outside to the air passed through the conditioner. Thus, models with this function not only change the temperature and humidity of the air, but also additionally refresh it. On the other hand, mixing significantly complicates both the design of the air conditioner itself and its installation. Therefore, this function is quite rare, and mainly in models of the middle level and above.

— Air pollution sensor. A sensor that monitors the presence of smoke, dust and other contaminants in the air passing through the air conditioner. The use of such a sensor can be different: some models are able to independently start the ventilation (air filtration) mode when pollution is detected, in others the sensor is only responsible for automatic shutdown, and ventilation must be turned on manually. However, anyway, this function greatly facilitates the monitoring of air quality.

— Presence sensor. A sensor that monitors the presence of people in the room. Using the location of people in the room, the air conditioner can change the direction of the flow away from people, thereby protecting against drafts. If the presence of people is not detected, then the air conditioner may switch to low power consumption mode and work not at full capacity, maintaining a comfortable temperature, and depending on the implementation of this functionality, it may even turn off if there is no activity in the room for a long time. This helps to save energy and provides an additional guarantee in case the user forgets to turn off the air conditioner manually.

— The drive of vertical blinds. The presence of its own drive at the vertical flaps at the outlet of the air conditioner. Recall that in most models the air outlet has the form of a slot, equipped with two types of dampers — horizontal (usually one), along the length, and vertical, along the height. By default, the motor drive has only a horizontal leaf: this allows you to change the direction of the air flow vertically, as well as close the duct during non-working hours. However, some modern air conditioners (mostly wall-mounted, see "Type") also provide a vertical flap drive — it allows you to turn them from side to side, changing the direction of the horizontal air flow. This significantly expands the possibilities for setting up the unit for the specifics of the situation.

— Standby heating. A function found in air conditioners with heating (see "Operating modes"); it is intended mainly for private houses, summer cottages and other similar places that can be left unattended for a long time during the cold season. When using standby heating, the air conditioner maintains a low positive temperature in the room (about +8..10 °С). This is enough to avoid freezing of walls and damage to communications, and at the same time, energy consumption is low.

— Self-cleaning. The mode of automatic cleaning of the internal parts of the air conditioner — usually due to intensive "purging" with air. This allows you to remove the accumulated dust inside and dry out excess moisture, and also prevents the growth of harmful microorganisms. At the same time, self-cleaning does not eliminate the need for full manual cleaning or replacement of working elements in the air conditioner filters.

— Self-diagnosis. The ability to automatically detect malfunctions and errors in the operation of the air conditioner. The specific features of the operation of this function may be different: in some models, the “health” of the unit is constantly monitored or automatically checked at certain intervals, in others, such a procedure is only started manually. Usually, self-diagnostic systems are able to automatically fix minor problems that do not require external intervention; More serious problems are reported to the user by the device, for example, by an error code on the display.

— Smartphone control. The ability to remotely control the air conditioner from a smartphone or other similar device, such as a tablet. Usually, for this you need to install a special application on the device. Such control can be more convenient and intuitive than using the remote control — the application can provide various specific parameters and functions that are not available for the remote control (for example, the schedule of work by day of the week). In addition, through the application, you can monitor the operating parameters of the air conditioner in real time — the set temperature, speed, program, etc. — and receive notifications of problems. And some models with this feature can even be connected to the Internet — and get access to air conditioning control from anywhere in the world where there is access to the World Wide Web. Connection with the control gadget can be carried out via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, depending on the model; For some devices, this feature may require the use of an external Wi-Fi module (see below).

— I Feel (remote control with temperature sensor). The presence of a temperature sensor in the complete remote control. Usually, such a remote control also has a separate button, when pressed, the air conditioner measures the temperature at the location of the remote control, that is, in close proximity to the user. This allows you to more accurately control the microclimate than when using a sensor on the indoor unit — the device estimates the temperature at the user's location, and not at the installation site of the indoor unit.

Wi-Fi module connection

Ability to connect a separate Wi-Fi module to the air conditioner. Such equipment significantly expands the functionality: a Wi-Fi connection can be used to control from a smartphone (see "Functions") or even via the Internet, to transfer statistics and other service data to external devices (smartphone, laptop, etc.), for remote diagnostics and troubleshooting, etc. The specific set of capabilities associated with the wireless module should be specified separately; however, anyway, this feature is typical mainly for fairly advanced models.

Note that modern air conditioners can be equipped with built-in Wi-Fi modules. However, when buying such a model, you have to immediately pay extra for additional communication options, while with a separate Wi-Fi adapter there is a choice — you can buy it both together with the air conditioner, and separately, later (or even not buy at all if this function turns out to be unnecessary) .

Display on indoor unit

A small screen mounted on the indoor unit of the air conditioner. Such a display usually has the simplest functionality and displays a limited set of characters — numbers, some letters, sometimes also individual graphic icons. However, even on such a screen, quite a variety of information can be displayed: the set temperature, operating mode, timer settings, filter status, error codes, etc. Thanks to this, control is more convenient and intuitive than without this function.

Refrigerant type

The type of refrigerant used in the air conditioner.

The refrigerant is a volatile liquid that transfers heat between the outdoor unit(s) and the indoor unit(s). In common parlance, such compounds are also called freons, although this is not entirely technically correct. In fact, the type of refrigerant is most important when buying air conditioner units separately — for example, to assemble a multi-split system (see "Type"): all units must use the same brand of freon, otherwise they will be incompatible. However, there are quite noticeable physical differences between different compositions, sometimes quite important.

The most common refrigerants nowadays are R22, R32, R407C, R410A, R134A and R290, here is a more detailed description of them:

— R22. The most "old" of the varieties of refrigerant found nowadays. It is distinguished by its low cost, low operating pressure (which has a positive effect on the reliability and price of the cooling circuits themselves) and uniform composition, which makes it possible not to change it entirely in case of a refrigerant leak, but simply replenish the system with the required amount of liquid. However, R22 is environmentally unsafe (mainly for the ozone layer), which is why nowadays it is gradually being replaced by more advanced compounds.

— R32. A fairly advanced...refrigerant that combines three key advantages: efficiency, environmental friendliness and uniformity. So, air conditioners under R32 can be made quite compact and at the same time powerful; this substance does not destroy the ozone layer and does not have a significant effect on global warming; and a homogeneous composition allows you to refuel the air conditioner without problems in case of a leak. The main disadvantage of models with this type of refrigerant is the high price associated not so much with the cost of the R32 itself, but with the specific requirements for the design of the refrigeration circuit.

— R407C. A refrigerant designed as a safe alternative to R22; has no effect on the ozone layer. At the same time, such a composition is much more expensive; its working pressure is slightly higher, which requires a greater strength of the cooling circuit (although not as high as for R410A); and polyester oil used with R407C tends to absorb moisture and lose properties. In addition, this filler is zeotropic (heterogeneous in composition): its components have different boiling points and different evaporation rates. As a result, even with a small leak, the refrigerant loses its properties, and the situation can be corrected only by a complete refilling of the air conditioner.

— R410A. Another "green" alternative to R22. Unlike R407C, it is azeotropic — it consists of components with the same evaporation characteristics; so that in the event of a leak, the ratio of these components does not change, in which case refilling the circuit is allowed instead of completely replacing the contents. On the other hand, R410A is characterized by high operating pressure, which puts serious demands on the strength and reliability of the cooling circuit and increases its cost; and the refrigerant itself is quite expensive.

— R134A. One of the modern refrigerants with advanced properties. It is completely homogeneous, like R22, but at the same time it is absolutely safe for the ozone layer and is characterized by a low coefficient of influence on global warming. The disadvantage of this composition is traditional — high cost; in addition, it uses polyester oil, which is prone to moisture absorption.

— R290. Liquefied propane used as a refrigerant. It has a number of advantages: non-toxic, environmentally friendly (zero impact on the ozone layer, minimal impact on global warming), homogeneous (i.e. does not require complete replacement in case of leakage, it is enough to replenish the missing amount), used with mineral oil, which is insensitive to moisture . In addition, propane has a low operating pressure, which simplifies the design of circuits and reduces their cost, as well as a low temperature at the outlet of the compressor, which contributes to efficiency. This refrigerant has two disadvantages: flammability and high compressor power requirements, which makes such units quite heavy and bulky. Therefore, despite all the advantages, R290 is used quite rarely.

Maximum height difference between blocks

The maximum height difference allowed for split system units. For multi-splits (see "Type"), in this case, we mean the difference in height between the highest and lowest block.

When installing blocks at different heights, a pressure difference arises in the system — the greater the height difference, the greater this difference, and if it is too large, the system will not be able to work normally. This is the reason for this limitation.

Maximum pipe length

The maximum allowable length of the refrigerant pipes connecting the outdoor and indoor unit of a split or multi-split system (see "Type"). The length of the tubes is implied in one direction, from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit (or vice versa).

In most modern air conditioners, this parameter is about 15 – 20 m, or even more, so problems with the maximum length can only arise if the blocks are far from each other (for example, if the indoor unit is placed "through the whole house" from the outer one). It is technically possible to use tubes longer than the maximum allowed, but this will affect the efficiency of the air conditioner and may require refilling the freon.

Min. t for cooling mode

The lowest outdoor air temperature at which the air conditioner is able to operate normally in cooling mode.

The need for air cooling arises not only in cold weather — for example, efficient heat dissipation is constantly needed in closed rooms with a lot of heat-generating equipment (such as server rooms). And the limitation on the minimum outdoor temperature is due to the fact that a large temperature difference between the condenser (heater) of the outdoor unit and the environment can damage the circuits.

Note that in domestic air conditioners this threshold can be quite high — +20 °С and even higher (up to +25 °С); however, in everyday life, additional cooling is usually required for warmer weather, and such air temperatures are not so high as to cause significant discomfort. But in professional units, the minimum temperature for the cooling mode can be significantly below zero — up to -40 °C and even lower.

It is also worth mentioning that in the presence of a heating mode, the permissible temperature for it is noticeably lower than for the cooling mode. This is due to the difference between the formats of the air conditioner in these modes.

Maximum t for cooling mode

The highest outdoor air temperature at which normal operation of the air conditioner in normal cooling mode is possible.

It should be noted that for basic models of home climate equipment, the “ceiling” of outdoor air temperature for cooling is usually +43 °С. Advanced copies of air conditioners remain operational even at +50 °С, and even at +55 °С (which almost reaches the absolute maximum air temperature on our planet).

Min. t for heating mode

The lowest outdoor temperature at which the air conditioner can operate normally in heating mode.

Modern air conditioners with heating mode are quite cold-resistant appliances. Thus, models where this temperature threshold exceeds 0 °C are extremely rare. A lot of units, even quite inexpensive ones, have a minimum temperature allowed for heating in the range of -5 ... -10 °C or -11 ... -15 °C. Models with indicators of -16 ... -20 °C and -21 ... -25 °C, although much less, are still quite a few, and air conditioners capable of heating at -25 °C and below are very close in terms of capabilities to heat pumps.

Air Compressor

The brand of the compressor installed in the air conditioner. The brand in this case means a general brand, not a specific model.

The compressor is the "heart" of the unit, it is on its characteristics that the capabilities of the air conditioner and the features of its operation primarily depend. And the brand of this part is specified mainly in cases where an advanced compressor is used in the design, which is noticeably superior to conventional options in terms of characteristics and overall quality. So this characteristic is more advertising than practically significant. However, if you wish, you can find data on the general features and "reputation" of a particular brand and use this information for the final choice.

Note that even in air conditioners of the same brand, different brands of compressors can be used. This is due to the fact that many manufacturers of such parts do not produce ready-made air conditioners, but only sell components to third-party companies. However, there are exceptions — usually large corporations such as Panasonic or Mitsubishi Heavy, or top manufacturers like Daikin.

Drainage pump

The pump for pumping out of the condensate which is formed during the work of the conditioner.

Condensation (moisture) inevitably forms in the indoor unit when the air conditioner is used for cooling — these are the physical features of the process; such moisture must be removed, ideally outside the premises. Often, a simple inclined tube is enough for this, through which water flows by itself; however, it is not always possible to lay such a tube — sometimes it is necessary to use moisture traps of complex shape, with ups and downs. It is for such cases that the drainage pump is intended: it creates a pressure that allows the removed moisture to overcome the bends and rises of the moisture drain.

Note that most models with this function are channel or cassette air conditioners (see "Type of installation") — it is with such an installation that the greatest difficulties arise with the organization of moisture removal.

Filters

Types of additional filters that the air conditioner is equipped with (in addition to the simplest mechanical filters that are in all models).

We emphasize that we are talking about the filters supplied in the kit; some models allow you to separately purchase additional elements for air purification, but this possibility is not taken into account in this case. As for specific options, the most popular in modern air conditioners are various antibacterial filters(including catechin elements and UV lamps), fine cleaning devices (including HEPA filters), antifungal, anti- allergic, deodorizing and formaldehyde filters, as well as elements , which combine several functions at once — plasma (electrostatic) and catalytic. Here is a detailed description of each of them:

— Plasma (electrostatic). The action of filters of this type is based on the saturation of the air with negatively charged ions. Thus, a similar element also works as an ionizer (see "Functions"), even if there is no full-fledged ionizer in the design. As for air purification, plasma filters can quite effectively destroy harmful microorganisms, de...stroy some harmful substances, and also trap particles of dust, smoke, soot, etc. — these particles acquire a charge under the influence of ionized air and are attracted to the filter plates.

— Fine cleaning. This term usually refers to advanced mechanical filters that provide air filtration at a microscopic level. The specific effectiveness of such devices may be different; it should be specified separately in each case. Also note that the HEPAs described below are also, in fact, fine filters; however, they use a specific principle of operation and are initially characterized by high efficiency. Therefore, the presence of HEPA filters is indicated separately.

— HEPA filter. A special kind of mechanical fine filters. Due to the special design of the microchannels through which air passes in such a filter, such devices can trap particles much smaller than the diameter of the microchannels. For comparison: the effectiveness of a HEPA filter is estimated by its ability to retain contaminants with a size of 0.1 – 0.3 microns (with such particles, such a filter is the least effective), while the size of most bacteria starts at 0.5 microns. By efficiency, such filters are divided into classes; nowadays, HEPA classes from 10 (detains at least 85% of the mentioned particles) to 14 (filtration efficiency reaches 99.995%) are relevant.

— Catechin. In fact, it is a variety of antibacterial filters described below, created on the basis of catechins, natural organic substances with a powerful antioxidant effect. Such filters are highly effective in combating bacteria and viruses, however, they are not cheap; in the light of these features, they are singled out in a separate category.

— catalytic. Most often, this term means photocatalytic, or "zeolite" filters — devices that work due to a special substance (photocatalyst) and UV radiation. Under the influence of such radiation, the catalyst decomposes the organic matter that falls on it into simpler substances — usually water and carbon dioxide. This technology not only allows you to remove harmful impurities from the air (and at the level of individual molecules), but also provides a good bactericidal and antiviral effect. At the same time, such a filter practically does not require maintenance: the photocatalyst is not consumed during operation, and the reaction products freely escape to the outside. On the other hand, the price of such elements is quite high.

— Antibacterial. Various filters designed to kill bacteria and other harmful organisms — viruses, fungi, etc. The specific principle of operation, the level of efficiency and maintenance rules for such filters may be different, these details should be specified in the documentation for the air conditioner. However, if air disinfection is of fundamental importance to you, such a filter will definitely come in handy. We note only two points in this regard. Firstly, catechin elements are usually not included in this category, although they have the same purpose (see above); secondly, not every antibacterial filter is able to effectively fight viruses — this point, again, needs to be specified separately.
It is also worth considering that no matter how effective the air conditioner filters are, thorough air disinfection is not its main task; specialized devices should be used for these purposes.

— Antifungal. A specialized filter for removing harmful fungi from the air, such as mold. The antibacterial devices described above also have this function to one degree or another; however, this type of filter is much more efficient in this regard. On the other hand, the need to fight intensively with fungi does not arise so often, and for other cases, the same antibacterial filters are usually quite enough. So antifungal elements in modern air conditioners are used quite rarely.

— Anti-allergic. Filters designed primarily to remove pollutants from the air that cause allergies: plant pollen (including from indoor plants), dust mites, particles of pet hair, etc. The specific principle of operation of such filters may be different, it is worth clarifying separately. So, in relatively inexpensive air conditioners, the simplest mechanical cleaning is usually used, and the term "anti-allergenic" is more of a marketing ploy than a real description of the filter's specialization. More advanced models often include more advanced technologies, such as an enzyme filter that decomposes allergens into simple, harmless substances like water and carbon dioxide.

— Ultraviolet lamp. A lamp that treats the air passing through the air conditioner with UV radiation. This treatment provides a bactericidal effect: ultraviolet light neutralizes most bacteria, viruses and fungi. However in general, the efficiency of such lamps is not particularly high; however, they are a great addition to an antibacterial filter. And even without such a filter, the quality of air purification from an air conditioner with a UV lamp will be higher than that of a similar model without such a lamp.
Separately, we emphasize that this function should not be confused with the catalytic (photocatalytic) filter described above — UV lamps have a much simpler design and principle of operation.

— Deodorizing (charcoal). A specialized filter designed, among other things, to combat unpleasant odours. Acts at the molecular level, passing ordinary air and absorbing molecules of substances that create unpleasant odours; of course, it is also capable of retaining larger particles, such as smoke. Activated carbon is most often used as a filter element — hence one of the variants of the name; there are filters based on other substances, however, they also have similar properties. Note that in any deodorizing filter, the working element must be changed periodically — when the resource is exhausted, it becomes useless and can even release harmful substances itself.

— formaldehyde. Specialized filter for removing formaldehyde and some other harmful organic compounds (eg ammonia, benzene and/or hydrogen sulfide) from the air. The source of such substances can be both external pollution (for example, emissions from industrial enterprises), and some items in the room itself: new furniture or curtains, some types of floor and wall coverings (immediately after application), spoiled food, cigarette smoke, etc. n. The specific principle of operation of filters of this type may be different. The most commonly used so-called cryocatalytic element, in which the catalyst decomposes organic matter into simpler harmless components, and then restores its properties due to cold when the air conditioner is cooling. In addition, many catalytic (photocatalytic) filters have similar capabilities (see above), so one such element can be claimed in the characteristics as two types of filters at once — both catalytic and formaldehyde.

In addition to the varieties described above, other types of filters can be found in modern air conditioners, in particular:

— Air cleaner. The general name used for different types of filters. This term often denotes the simplest elements of coarse cleaning (for advertising purposes — so that the list of filters in the characteristics is larger). However, there is another option — devices created on the basis of specific proprietary technologies and not fitting into any of the varieties described above; such devices can combine several functions at the same time (for example, fine filtration and antibacterial effect).

— Dust extractor. Most often, we are talking about the simplest mechanical filter that traps dust and other relatively large particles. Almost all modern air conditioners are equipped with such devices, however, in some models, the presence of "dust" filters is specified separately — mainly for advertising purposes.

— With vitamin C. A filter that saturates the air with vitamin C. It is believed that such an addition has a positive effect on immunity and skin condition; there is no unambiguous evidence for this, however, in conditions of vitamin deficiency, such an adaptation will definitely not be superfluous.

— Preliminary. Mechanical coarse filter installed in front of the main set of filters. Detains relatively large contaminants, preventing them from reaching other filter elements and removing part of the “load” from them. At the same time, the design of the pre-filter, usually, is as simple as possible, and its maintenance is limited to periodic shaking or washing.

— "Ionic" (for example, Smart Ion, etc.). Usually — the same electrostatic filter (see above), however, presented under one brand name or another.

Three-phase connection (400 V)

This feature means that the air conditioner is designed to be connected to three-phase 400 V networks.

Such models are mainly powerful performant units designed to service areas from 40 m2, and in most cases — from 70 m2 or more. It is worth noting that even for such air conditioners, the power consumption is relatively small, and many of them, in theory, could well work from a conventional household (single-phase) 220 V network. However, a three-phase connection has a number of other advantages over a single-phase connection, in addition to a higher allowable power. Firstly, 400 V networks (and devices for them) better tolerate voltage drops and other emergency situations. Secondly, such networks allow more accurate accounting of actually consumed electricity (which is important when powerful units are constantly used). And finally, in some cases, it is purely technically easier to connect three phases than to pull the wire to the outlet; such situations are especially typical for duct and cassette format units (see "Type of installation"). Actually, most three-phase air conditioners belong to these varieties, although there are other options for their installation.

On the other hand, note that the possibility of a three-phase connection is much less common than conventional 220 V networks. So, before buying a 400 V air conditioner, it's ok to make sure that...there will be no problems with its connection.

Water Tray Volume

The volume of the water tray installed in the air conditioner.

Water trays are installed exclusively in mobile models. It is used to collect condensate that occurs during cooling operation. Recall that in stationary models this moisture is removed either to the street or to a separate container through a special tube, but in portable devices it is not easy, if not impossible, to organize such a removal. There is not so much condensate during operation, therefore, the capacity of trays for mobile air conditioners is small - it rarely exceeds 3 liters, and in some models it does not even reach 0.5 liters.

However, it should be borne in mind that a more capacious tray allows the unit to work longer without maintenance, but it affects the dimensions.

Wheels for moving

The presence of wheels for movement in the design of the unit.

This feature is found exclusively in mobile models - other types of air conditioners are designed to be permanently in one place. The convenience of the wheels is obvious: rolling the device is much easier than carrying it by weight. This is especially true in light of the fact that the weight of mobile air conditioners can exceed 20 kg, which makes it much more difficult to carry in your hands.

Indoor unit dimensions (WxHxD)

Dimensions of the indoor unit of the air conditioner in height, width and depth.

This size allows you to estimate how much space you need to place the device. In this case, of particular importance — mainly for split and multi-split systems with wall mounting — is the width of the indoor unit. The fact is that in terms of the height and depth of the internal blocks, most of these systems differ slightly in general, but the differences in width are much more noticeable. So, the narrowest models have a width of 76 – 80 cm or less, and the largest ones occupy 91 – 95 cm, and often more. At the same time, the more powerful the air conditioner, the wider it is, usually, but there is no rigid dependence here.
Filters
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Min. t for heating mode
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Advanced filters
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