Air conditioners: How we test air conditioners
We use a special climate-controlled test room so we can set temperature and humidity to levels you’d experience on a hot summer’s day.
Looking and feeling something akin to a sauna, our test room is made of thick pine wood. Our false summer is created courtesy of a heater and humidifier, which are set to maintain controlled conditions in the room. It takes about four hours for the test room to reach consistent conditions before we begin.
We check the energy consumption of each model by running the unit on the maximum cooling and air flow speed for one hour in a special climate-controlled test room measuring 3m by 3m, with a room temperature of 35°C. This gives us a read-out of the power the air conditioner uses and allows us to calculate energy ratings. We also use this data to work out how much each unit will cost you in electricity if run for three hours of cooling per day.
Noise and airflow
Our expert lab testers rate subjectively how noisy the machines are. This can range from a gentle hum to a great gurgling that makes the unit sound like it is about to take off. Strength of airflow is also rated.
Ease of use
Finally, we check how easy the unit is to use, carefully examining remote controls as well as ease of programming. We look at use on a day-to-day and periodic basis.
Filters must be cleaned regularly and, on portable models, the machine needs to be drained before it is put away for winter.