Finding Balance between Aircon Horsepower and Electric Consumption

Choosing the right AC unit often involves researching many different factors, including cooling capacity and the size of the room where the unit is to be installed. And in countries like the Philippines, where the hot weather can only be made bearable by daily AC use, another crucial aspect to consider is the aircon’s energy consumption. This aircon horsepower guide aims to provide consumers with accurate information on finding an air conditioner with the right cooling capabilities and electric consumption. Hopefully, this can help you find an energy-efficient AC that can sufficiently cool down your space.
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How do I find the aircon with the right HP?

An air conditioner’s HP, or horsepower, indicates how powerful its motor is and is directly related to its cooling capacity. In some cases, the AC’s HP rating is also referred to as its size. These days, AC units can range in power from 0.5 to 2.5 HP, and with a higher HP rating comes a higher energy consumption. 

For many air conditioners, the cooling capacity is also measured in kilojoules per hour (kJ/hr) or British Thermal Units (BTUs). Knowing an aircon’s kJ/hr rating can be useful if you’re comparing two units with the same HP.

It might make sense to just go with a high-HP aircon that can cool down a room more quickly, but there are several factors you must consider. We’ve listed these factors below:


1. Consider the room size. 

This is one of the most important considerations in choosing an AC with the right horsepower. It’s always helpful to use a tape measure to take measurements of the room where the unit is to be installed. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick aircon horsepower room guide below:


Note: This table is applicable only to standard testing conditions of 27 degrees Celsius room temperature and 35 degrees Celsius outdoor temperature. To ensure comfort in conditions with higher temperatures, which can occur during summer, you can get an aircon with a higher HP rating than the room requires.

It may be tempting to just go with an aircon with a high cooling capacity, but there are some adverse effects to this. For one, an oversized non-inverter AC unit works with more frequent on-off cycles, which results in higher energy consumption.

Conversely, an aircon with insufficient HP for your space will work harder to bring down the room temperature, resulting in increased energy consumption. As such, it’s crucial to know the right aircon horsepower to square meter ratio for your room.


2. Note the room’s features.

Aside from aircon horsepower per room area considerations, the features and layout of the room also have an impact on how efficiently an aircon works. For instance, large windows let much more heat in, so you might need a more powerful AC than you would for the space’s size. Otherwise, an aircon with an insufficiently powerful motor will consume too much energy trying to cool down the room.

Also, consider how well the room is insulated. Rooms with galvanized iron roofs and poorly fitted doors can’t hold in cold air that well, so these may require aircon with a higher cooling capacity for sufficient cooling. You can improve your space’s insulation by using door-sealing strips and black-out curtains. 


3. Consider the fixtures and appliances in the room.

Fixtures and appliances also contribute to a room’s heat load. Refrigerators, ovens, computers, and even multiple light sources – all raise a room’s internal temperature. As a result, you may need a high-HP air conditioner to combat the effects of these heat-generating appliances. 

Likewise, you’d need an aircon with a more powerful cooling capacity for rooms that are typically occupied by more than two people, like offices and living rooms. 



How HP Ratings and Energy Consumption Affect Costs

An important reason for choosing an aircon with the right HP is to ensure energy efficiency. By going with an AC that’s perfect for the size and features of your room, you can make sure that the air conditioner doesn’t consume any more energy than necessary for cooling down the room. An energy-efficient air conditioner can help you keep electricity costs down, especially if you plan to keep the unit running for multiple hours each day.

In addition to its size or HP rating, another major factor that affects an air conditioner’s electric consumption is whether or not it uses inverter technology. Inverter aircons tend to be more energy-efficient compared to other AC types. However, the downside is that inverter AC units are also more expensive. 

Our aircon horsepower guide also includes a table with the estimated monthly costs for using different types of air conditioners.


(Calculations are based on the Aircon Consumption Calculator.)

Choosing the Right Aircon HP

The most important step to choosing an air conditioner with the right HP is to study the size and features of your space. These factors will indicate the ideal aircon horsepower for your space’s requirements and help you decide whether you need to go with a more powerful unit.

We hope you learned valuable information to help you choose the ideal air conditioner in this aircon horsepower guide that we created. If you need a little more guidance, our experts at Carrier are happy to help with advice on the most energy-efficient air conditioner for your space. 

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