Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Switch to Inverter Air Conditioner


After almost a year of contemplating on the switch to inverter air conditioners, we finally decided to buy one last March 4, 2017. We got the Kolin 1-hp window-type inverter aircon (KAG-110RSINV model) after considering other options from Hitachi, Gree, and Carrier.


Why Kolin?

We initially thought of getting the Hitachi brand, but realized its air vent was small. The location of the air vent (left side of the unit) also became a concern because we will install it in the leftmost side of our room (we thought that air flow coverage would be somewhat limited). We then saw Gree as an alternative, but it's a bit expensive. Further research showed that Gree air conditioners has the same manufacturer as Kolin, Mabe, Sharp, American Home, and Fujidenso. We found no reason to pay more for practically the same product offered by the other brands mentioned, so Gree was also scratched from the list. Carrier, on the other hand, was the most popular in my list but also the most expensive. According to the person who assisted us, when it comes to inverter aircons, brands don't really matter much (the premium you'll be paying is for the brand name and customer service). I did a quick research on the Kolin window-type inverter aircon, and it appears to be the bang-for-buck and proven effective option, albeit a high pitch / hissing compressor "noise" reported by some users (but noise level is subjective per user, and most said that it's something that you can get used to after some time).

Kolin S-Series Inverter Aircon

In the end, we gambled on Kolin. Since window-type aircons have only been around for a few years, Kolin's reliability (in terms of how long it will last), is something for us to find out.


Why didn't we get the split-type instead?

Although split-type inverter aircons are less expensive than window-type models, their maintenance cost is more expensive and cumbersome, based on our experience with the Daikin split-type aircon that we have in another room. Installation is also a hassle (especially if you don't have provision for split-type aircon) and comes as an additional cost.


Is Kolin really noisy?

After a week of using the Kolin inverter aircon, I haven't noticed the high pitch / hissing compressor "noise" reported by some users. Either Kolin has already fixed it or I'm just used to aircon "noise". Or maybe the "noise" they're referring to is the sound of the compressor after turning the unit on.

The first time I turned on our Kolin inverter aircon, I immediately noticed that it's not as "quiet" as the Condura 0.75-hp non-inverter aircon we had installed previously. I just attributed the difference to the bigger compressor (1-hp vs. 0.75-hp). But the good thing is, after the room had achieved the specified temperature, Kolin's "noise" was already comparable to Condura's.

Out of curiosity, I downloaded a noise meter for iPhone called Decibel 10th to compare the "noise" coming from our 2 aircon units. Though the app may not be 100% accurate, at least I have an objective basis for the comparison.

The picture below shows the ambient noise level in the room with the Condura aircon turned off. With a reading of 54 dB, the app compared the noise level to "any quiet street".

Kolin Inverter Aircon KAG-110RSINV Noise Level Comparison

The next picture shows the noise level of our Condura aircon that has been running for around 30 minutes. Thermostat was set to around 80% cool with fan speed set to low. With the iPhone placed around 6 inches away from the aircon unit, a 72.4 dB reading was recorded. According to Decibel 10th, the level is comparable to the average noise inside a car.

Kolin Inverter Aircon KAG-110RSINV Noise Level Comparison

Now, let's check the noise level of the Kolin aircon. For this test, I tried 3 different settings. The picture below shows the noise level with the thermostat set to 24 ℃ and fan speed set to low. Surprisingly, the reading was only 65.5 dB, Kolin is quieter than the Condura! Decibel 10th compared the noise to "average normal conversation".

Kolin Inverter Aircon KAG-110RSINV Noise Level Comparison

For the next setting, the thermostat was still at 24 ℃ but the fan speed was now at medium. The reading was 67.1 dB, still comparable to "average normal conversation", and still quieter than the Condura. 

Kolin Inverter Aircon KAG-110RSINV Noise Level Comparison

For the last setting, the thermostat was still at 24 ℃ but the fan speed was now set to high. With a reading of 69.9 dB, the noise level is still comparable to "average normal conversation", and still quieter than the Condura!

Kolin Inverter Aircon KAG-110RSINV Noise Level Comparison

Based on the tests conducted, Kolin is not that noisy after all. The "noise" after switching it on may be louder, but definitely tolerable. You can expect it to be quiet after a few minutes. 


Are we satisfied with Kolin?

So far, we have no regrets in getting the Kolin brand. We noticed that it has a strong fan which helps in cooling the room faster. As advised, in order to achieve greater power savings, the thermostat setting should be 22 to 25 ℃. The 1-hp unit that we got is just right since we're already ok with 25 ℃ setting (sometimes, my wife even sets it to 26 ℃).

We're yet to find out the monthly savings it would bring. It's interesting to know if a 1-hp inverter unit will be more energy efficient than a 0.75-hp non-inverter type. I''ll give an update in 2 months to report on our power consumption.

We're hoping that this Kolin inverter aircon will really give us significant power savings and last at least 10 years to make the ₱24,000 "investment" worth it.


***Update (July 19, 2017)***

I checked our condo billing statements (December 2016 - July 2017) to compare our power consumption before and after the switch to Kolin inverter aircon.

Our average consumption based on the 3 months billing prior to the switch (December 2016 - February 2017) is 409 kWh.

After the switch, our power consumption is as follows:
March 2017 - 328 kWh
April 2017 - 338 kWh
May 2017 - 381 kWh 
June 2017 - 376 kWh

So far, so good! Am I still satisfied? Definitely! Our daily aircon usage has really increased in the past few months, yet our power consumption managed to stay below 409 kWh.

Something that's worth noting is that, the 3 months prior to the switch can be considered "cold months" since it's during the Christmas season. Supposedly, our power consumption during those months is lower due to decreased aircon usage. Our switch to inverter aircon happened during the summer season.

Lastly, it should be noted that our previous aircon was only 0.75 HP; even though we switched to a 1 HP unit already, our power consumption is still lower than before.


I'm interested to know the savings that can be achieved by the switch from 1 HP non-inverter to 1 HP inverter aircon. Got experience to share? Post it on the Comments section below. :)


You might also be interested with the following posts:

How We Survived the No TV / No Tablet Rule for our Toddler
10 Truths Newbie Stock Traders Should Know
5 Reasons Why I Prefer Grab Over Uber
Book Review: My Key Takeaway from Money Grows on Trees
Shop from Amazon, Ship to the Philippines, Get Tax Refund

23 comments:

  1. We bought the same unit last week however may i ask how was your electric bill this month? Was there any diff?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Khenzzie. Our latest condo billing included 14 days of use of the Kolin inverter aircon. Our usual power consumption is more than 400 kwh per month, but in the latest billing, we just consumed 328 kwh. :)

      Maybe it's too early to tell, but so far so good. I'm looking forward to our power consumption for the next 2 months.

      Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

      Delete
  2. Hi i was thinking to buy the same model, may i ask if how long do you use the unit a day? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the average, 13 hours a day.

      By the way, the power consumption I mentioned above also includes consumption from other electric appliances such as rice cooker, air fryer, electric stove, electric oven, water heater, front load washer and dryer (which we use around 4 times a week for 4-5 hours per complete wash-dry session), and steam iron.

      Delete
  3. Thank you for the response! i already decided ill go for the kolin. Nice review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome sir! Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

      Delete
  4. Hi can i ask how was your electricity consumption for this month? i already got the same unit, and i am using it about 13 to 16 hours a day. I am a bit curious about the consumption, because its my first time using a inverter aircon. Thanks alot!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vic. Just received our condo billing. Power consumption for March 18 to April 17 is 338 kwh. It increased by 10 kwh based on the previous month's billing, but I was already expecting the increase since my wife often used our electric oven during the period plus we used the other non-inverter aircon in the other room from time to time (the Condura aircon I showed above). I'm happy to learn that our power consumption just increased by 10 kwh despite of the additional use of electric appliances, and still below our average power consumption of 400 kwh per month.

      I'm definitely looking forward to more savings in the coming months. :)

      Delete
  5. any update for your 2 months report on your power consumption?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Post updated to reflect our monthly power consumption from March - June 2017. :)

      Delete
  6. hi. very informative and well-written review. :)
    I am planning on buying this Kolin model versus the HITACHI RA-10HVQ 1.0HP inverter.
    Did you notice any change in the sound levels? Or the hissing sound reported by some other users?
    How about their customer service? Did you have any encounters with their after-sales office yet?
    Lastly, did they offer free cleaning services (eg. for the first year)? And if you don't mind, may I know where you bought your unit?
    Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, thanks for the kind words. :)

      I didn't notice a change in the sound/noise levels. I also haven't tried contacting customer service/after sales office because my unit is still working perfectly. I may need to call them soon, however, to check accredited suppliers who can clean my unit.

      With regards to the free cleaning service for the first year, unfortunately, I didn't receive any. It's fine, though, since I was given a good discount when I got it. Got my unit from Robinsons Appliance Center in Robinsons Pioneer.

      Thanks for visiting and reading my blog. Good day! :)

      Delete
    2. Good to hear that your unit seems to be working well. I'll sleep on it and decide whether to get Kolin or Hitachi. Again, thanks a lot for your response!

      Delete
  7. Was planning also to buy kolin. So far so good ba sir?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, no regrets with the Kolin brand. And even with the increase in hp (from 0.75hp to 1hp) and usage hours, my power consumption is still lower. :) I'm really glad I switched to inverter.

      Delete
  8. can somebody confirm wide voltage range 140 to 290? is this real?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Does the air swings?

    ReplyDelete
  10. gambled and bought a kolin 1.5hp split type inverter (KSM-IW15-4F1M) just this afternoon for our bedroom (for delivery tomorrow, sept 22). . currently using a panasonic 1.5hp window type aircon and my monthly billing averages between 8k to 9k for 18-20 hours daily use on the average with the thermostat set at 20 degrees. . hopefully it will live up to the sales pitch as advertised that i will have a 40% to 60% savings in my power bill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to your update sir! :)

      Delete

I would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Thank you for reading! :)