Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Air conditioners for the home cool your own four walls to a comfortable temperature when it is far too hot again in summer. The cooled air in the cooling compressors is blown into the room.
A distinction is made between mobile monobloc air conditioners and the permanently installed split air conditioners.

In our home air conditioner test 2021 we have compared monobloc air conditioners with split air conditioners. In order to simplify your purchase decision, you will find numerous advantages and disadvantages as well as answers to your questions on this page.




The most important facts

  • Air conditioners for your home provide air cooling. The warm air is cooled in the air conditioner and then blown into the room.
  • There is the split air conditioner and the monobloc air conditioner. Mobile air conditioners for the home exist without an exhaust air hose and with an exhaust air hose.
  • Monobloc air conditioners are particularly suitable for rented flats and small rooms. Split air conditioners, however, have the advantage of being more efficient and quiet. However, they may not be fitted and installed everywhere.

The Best Air Conditioners For Home: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for home air conditioners

In order to find the most suitable air conditioner for you among the huge selection, there are features you can look out for.

The best way to compare air conditioners for your home is with these criteria:

In this section we present the most important criteria in detail.

Permit

Make sure you check whether you need a permit for your air conditioner. With a split air conditioner, part of the unit is mounted outside on the wall of the house. This can lead to disturbances and visual changes.

Whether you need to get a permit varies from region to region. To be on the safe side, contact the responsible building authorities before buying your air conditioner.

If you are only renting the flat, you must obtain a permit from your landlord. If you are the owner of an apartment building, talk to your homeowners' association and neighbours before installing the air conditioner.

Efficiency

Before you buy an air conditioner for your home, take a closer look at the technical data. The following points must be considered:

Technical specifications Description
Cooling capacity Your required cooling capacity is related to the room size of the room. The larger your room, the higher the cooling capacity. Cooling load specifications are watts (W/h), kilowatts (kW/h) or British Thermal Unit (BTU/h).
Operating length Not all air conditioners may run continuously.
Watt The wattage shows you how much electricity your new air conditioner uses.

Make sure that you buy an air conditioner with sufficient cooling capacity. It is also important to note that split air conditioners are more energy efficient than monobloc air conditioners.

Noise level

An air conditioner cools your room for several hours. Check the decibel rating (dB) before you buy. Loud air conditioners quickly become a nuisance. A good air conditioner averages between 20 and 50 decibels.

20 decibels is comparatively as loud as the ticking of a clock. Birdsong or soft radio music can reach 50 decibels.

Certain home air conditioners have a night mode. This makes the air conditioner so quiet that you are not disturbed while sleeping. It is advisable to invest in a good product.

Environmental friendliness

Probably the biggest problem with air conditioners is that they are harmful to the environment. In fact, it's twofold - the power consumption and the refrigerant. The Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI) is the indicator of how much greenhouse gases are emitted.

Good technology as well as regular maintenance counteract electricity consumption. The inventory technique is a helpful method and is now standard in Europe. This adapts the cooling capacity to the existing room temperature.

75% of CO2 emissions are caused by electricity consumption, the remaining 25% by the refrigerant.

The chemicals in refrigerants are harmful to the environment. However, they only become a climate factor when they leak from the air conditioner, for example because of poor installation or leaks. Even a small amount has an enormous impact on the climate.

If environmental friendliness is important to you, pay attention to the energy efficiency class and the chemicals in the refrigerant.

Operation

A user-friendly refrigerator is not only fun and comfortable, it also has a positive effect on the climate. This includes the remote control, the night mode and the temperature setting.

Additional services of the air conditioner for your home make it easier for you to use.

The remote control allows you to regulate your air conditioner from anywhere. In some cases, you can even control the air conditioner via smartphone. This saves you having to go to the air conditioner.

Some air conditioners have a night mode so that you can sleep at night without being disturbed by noise. The room continues to be cooled at a very low and quiet level. This improves the quality of your sleep.

People's temperature sensations are different. Therefore, it is practical if your air conditioner has a temperature controller. Your room will then be cooled as desired.

Product dimensions

The size and weight of your new air conditioner should be considered before you buy it. A large air conditioner cools faster than a small one. But it can also be a nuisance because it takes up a lot of space.
If you have a mobile monobloc air conditioner that you will use in several rooms, it must not be too heavy. After all, you have to carry it from one room to the next.

Decision: What types of home air conditioners are there and which one is right for me?

When choosing an air conditioner for your home, there are two alternatives to choose from:

Type advantages disadvantages
Monobloc air conditioner handy, mobile high power consumption
Split air conditioner efficient, quiet cannot be installed alone

Every air conditioner has its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your living situation and personal feelings, it may be more profitable for you to choose a monobloc or split air conditioner. To help you decide, we present both alternatives in more detail.

Monoblock Klimaanlagen

Monobloc air conditioners

The most important advantage of monobloc air conditioners is their mobility. The air conditioners do not have to be permanently installed and can be easily transported from A to B.

Compared to split air conditioners, monoblocs are much cheaper to buy. You can get one for as little as 100 euros. Because of the mobility, you only need one air conditioner and don’t have to buy a separate one for each room. This point also saves costs.

Monobloc air conditioners are available with and without an exhaust hose. If you don’t have a suitable window in your home, you can simply choose a monobloc without a hose. If you want one with a hose, you can just let it hang out of the tilted window without attaching the hose.

Advantages
  • mobile
  • low purchase costs
  • with / without hose
Disadvantages
  • needs a lot of electricity
  • high noise level

The biggest disadvantage of the monobloc air conditioner is the power consumption. The high power consumption is due to the open window. The warm air from outside will keep coming back into your room. In addition, the power of the monobloc is not as high as that of the split air conditioner. Expect higher electricity costs than usual.

Another disadvantage is the noise level. With the monobloc, the cooling compressor is inside the air conditioner and thus in your home. This can make it difficult for you to sleep and concentrate on your work. On average, the noise level of a monoblock air conditioner is 65 decibels.

Split-Klimaanlagen

Split air conditioners

Split air conditioners also bring advantages. The most important advantage is efficiency. Unlike monoblocs, split units work even when the windows are closed. They also have a higher cooling capacity. This means that less electricity is consumed. This point is good for the environment and your electricity bill.

The cooling compressor of the split air conditioner is located outside your room on the house facade. This ensures your peace and quiet. Even at night, your sleep is not disturbed by the noise of the cooling compressor.

Split cooling units are mounted on the walls. They do not get in the way and do not take up any space. Also, most of the interior parts of split units are smaller than monoblocs. This is because only one part of two is inside the house.

Advantages
  • efficient
  • quiet
  • space-saving
Disadvantages
  • Specialist tradesman required
  • for rented flats not agreed

The disadvantage is the complicated installation. The split air-conditioning unit must be installed by a specialist tradesman. A hole is drilled in the wall to the outside to connect the indoor unit to the outdoor part. The air conditioner cannot be moved after installation.

Split air conditioners are not recommended in rented flats. When moving out, the air conditioner must also be dismantled again, which involves effort. Before buying the air conditioner, the landlord must first give his consent.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about home air conditioning answered in detail

To make your decision as easy as possible, the following section briefly explains the most frequently asked questions.

What is a home air conditioner?

There are two different types of air conditioners. A distinction is made between:

  • Monobloc air conditioners
  • Split air conditioners

Air conditioners are used to cool the air in our four walls. This makes the summer heat more bearable. The warm air in our rooms can be converted into colder air by various methods. In summer, ventilation usually brings nothing but even hotter air.

Split or monobloc - Which air conditioner is better for me?

Depending on the size of your room and your budget, the choice of air conditioner for your home can vary.

  • Split air conditioner
    The split version of an air conditioner is composed of two parts - the outdoor unit and the indoor unit. The outdoor unit consists of the cooling compressor, which cools the air. From there, the cold air enters the indoor unit and thus your home. The two parts are connected with a hose.
    With the split air conditioner, both components are permanently mounted. For outdoor installation, the regional building regulations must be observed and, if necessary, the necessary permits must be obtained.

Klimaanlage für Zuhause-1

The indoor part of a split air conditioner is often mounted at the very top of the wall. This makes the air conditioner very space-saving.
(Image source: Lightfieldstudios / 123rf.com)
  • Monobloc air conditioner
    The monobloc air conditioner consists of only one part. This air conditioner is mobile and offers fast and uncomplicated cooling of the rooms. Monobloc air conditioners are available with and without an exhaust hose. The hose is simply hung out of the window.

Therefore, before you buy an air conditioner, think carefully about the important criteria you want it to fulfil. Monoblocs, but also split systems have their own advantages and disadvantages.

For which air conditioners do I need a permit?

Split air conditioners may require a permit. This varies from municipality to municipality. Before buying a split air conditioner, check the regional building regulations.

Klimaanlage für Zuhause-2

The cooling compressor of the split air conditioner is located on the outside of the house wall.
(Image source: Changaim / 123rf.com)

A permit may be required because the external block of the air conditioner involves a change to the facade of the house. In principle, the installation of one's air conditioner is permitted if technical safety is guaranteed, the unit visually matches the façade and there is no disturbance of the peace.

What alternatives are there to home air conditioners?

Purchasing and operating an air conditioner is expensive. In order to keep a cool head in the summer, there are various alternatives.

Alternative How it works
Fan The fan generates a strong air flow that only cools the air in front of it. It is not suitable for cooling an entire room.
Evaporative cooling For this, a wet towel is hung over the open window. The evaporation cools the air in the room.
Water spray With the water spray you cool down your body by spraying the water on your arms and legs. Alternatively, you can use a wet wax cloth.
Humidifiers Humidifiers work in the same way as the evaporative cooling technique. Cold water is put into the air to increase the humidity in the room.
Sun protection film The sun's rays hitting the window do not reach the room through the sun protection film. This keeps the room pleasantly cool.

The air conditioner achieves the best cooling performance of these 6 variants.

How much does a home air conditioner cost?

The price range for air conditioners is wide. Small mobile units usually cost only a few hundred euros, while the powerful units demand several thousand euros in capital.

  • Monoblocair conditioners: 100 - 800 euros
  • Split air conditioners: 500 - 2,250 euros

The costs for installation, electricity and maintenance must not be forgotten.

To help you calculate the cost of electricity, this video explains how it works. This way you can easily calculate your potential costs of operation.

What capacity should my air conditioner have?

The so-called cooling load of the air conditioner can be expressed in three units:

  • Watt (W)
  • Kilowatt (kW) = 1 kW/h corresponds to 1000 W/h
  • British Thermal Unit (BTU) = 1,000 BTU/h correspond to 293.071 watts

To determine what cooling capacity your new air conditioner should have, there is a simple rule of thumb:

Sunlight Bill
Little Room area in square metres x 60 watts
Much Room area in square metres x 100 watts

Invoice example
Your room has a size of 80 square metres and a high solar radiation. The calculation for the appropriate power is 80 square metres x 100 watts = 8,000 watts. You should therefore buy an air conditioner with a cooling load of at least 8,000 watts.

Klimaanlage für Zuhause-3

The output of the air conditioner must match the size of your room. That way the room can be cooled optimally.
(Image source: Sidekix Media / unsplash.com)

The second rule of thumb is calculated with cubic metres

  • Room volume in cubic metres x 40 watts

Calculation example
Your room has a size of 80 square metres and is 2.5 metres high. The calculation for the appropriate power is 80 square metres x 2.5 metres x 40 watts = 8,000 watts. So you should get an air conditioner with at least 8,000 watts cooling load.

How do I clean my air conditioner at home?

To prevent your air conditioner from stinking, it needs to be cleaned regularly. In the height of summer, it even makes sense to clean the filter once a week. The following procedure is suitable:

  1. Preparation: Switch off your air conditioner and unplug it from the wall socket.
  2. Remove dust: The quickest way to remove coarse dirt is with a hoover.
  3. Clean the filter: To prevent bacteria from forming, remove the filter and wash it thoroughly in warm soapy water. The instructions tell you how to remove the filter.
  4. Drying: First dry the filter with a towel and then let it air dry completely. The filter must not be installed wet.

The hose and the condenser are best cleaned with the appropriate cleaning agents. You can also buy these from the manufacturer. In the case of monoblocs, condensation water also collects. The condensation must be removed regularly.

What do I have to pay attention to when maintaining my air conditioner?

Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure that the air conditioner lasts for a long time. Otherwise germs and bacteria will form. It is an advantage to have this done by a professional. The coolant should also be topped up by a specialist.

The dust filter should not only be cleaned weekly, but replaced annually. It is important that the condensation water tank and the hose are cleaned.

Image source: Popov/ 123rf.com

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