With the heat becoming more unbearable each day, air conditioning in our homes increasingly feels like a necessity. But when looking for the perfect aircon for your room, the decision should not be made based on price or brand alone.

There are other factors that you need to consider when shopping for your next unit, particularly horsepower, or the aircon’s HP. Let’s discuss some of the important factors when choosing the correct aircon for your room.

Table of Contents

What is aircon HP?

Horsepower, or HP, simply refers to how much work your aircon unit’s motor can sustain. For air conditioners, this translates to the unit’s cooling capacity, or how well and how quickly it can cool a room. 

Why should I consider HP when choosing a unit?

It’s crucial that you choose the correct aircon HP for your room size. Higher HP doesn’t always mean better. In fact, if you have an AC unit that has too high HP for your room, then you likely experience that uncomfortable clammy feeling.

This is because the oversized unit has reached the thermostat temperature too quickly without sufficient dehumidification, which leaves the air feeling wet and heavy. The unit also has to turn and off more frequently, consuming more energy.  

On the other hand, an AC unit with too low HP will take much longer to reach the desired temperature. It will also have a hard time maintaining that temperature, leaving it constantly running and consuming more energy. 

Having an aircon with the right HP for your room size not only leads to a more pleasant experience, but it’s also energy-saving and cost-efficient.

Room-Sqm-Aircon-Horsepower

How do I compute the right aircon HP for my room size?

Most aircon brands and suppliers provide a guide for selecting which of their units is suitable for your room size. These guides may slightly differ depending on the aircon brand. Based on recommendations from Meralco, here’s a general HP to room size guide that you can follow:

Room Size (sq. m.)Aircon HP
< 110.5
12 to 170.75
18 to 221.0
23 to 271.5
28 to 402.0
41 to 542.5

What type of aircon should I get?

Once you have decided what aircon size you should get based on HP, you should next consider what type of aircon works best for your room. Choosing the right aircon type matters just as much as choosing the right HP if you’re looking to get the most value out of your AC unit. 

Window type vs split-type airconditioner

Window type and split type AC units are the two most common aircon types for home use, and both come with their own sets of pros and cons. 

The window type aircon is the cubic, compact unit that is installed through a window or a hollow area in a wall. Because of its simple and compact structure, it’s easy to install even without professional assistance. They are also the most affordable aircon types available on the market. However, window type ACs are notoriously noisy, and because they require a hole in the wall for installation, some may consider them to be quite awkward and unappealing. 

Window-Split-Type-Aircon

On the other hand, a split type aircon is divided into two units: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. This split design keeps the noisy compressor unit outside and away from your room, leading to a much quieter experience.

A split type AC can be hung from a wall and only requires a small hole to connect the two units. The flip side is that a professional is required to have a split type AC seamlessly installed. They are also more expensive than the standard window-type with the same HP. 

Choosing between these two aircon types is a matter of budget and aesthetic preference. Both window type and split type AC units have different HP capacities available which you can choose from depending on your room size.   

Inverter vs non-inverter

If you’re looking to lower your monthly electricity bill, an important question you should ask is whether to buy an inverter or a non-inverter aircon. The main difference between the two lies within the compressor. 

In a traditional non-inverter aircon, the compressor always operates at its maximum capacity. On the other hand, an inverter aircon has a smart compressor that automatically adjusts to maintain the set temperature. Because it’s not always running at maximum capacity, an inverter AC unit is energy-saving and more cost-efficient.

The catch is that inverter aircons are more expensive than their non-inverter counterparts. An inverter aircon is a great investment to make if the higher upfront costs are within your budget. Choosing an inverter aircon with the right HP for your room size is the best way to cut down on your energy bill in the long run. 

Inverter-Non-Inverter-Airconditioner

What other factors should I consider when picking an airconditioner horsepower?

The aircon HP recommendations provided above are only based on the average room size. When looking for the right aircon size and HP for your room, there are other factors that come into play, which may require you to get an air conditioner with higher HP.

Sunlight

Direct sunlight is one of the primary sources of heat in your room. If the room has little shade and receives direct sunlight throughout the day, you may want to consider getting an aircon unit with one HP capacity higher. 

The number of occupants

Most people forget that humans also emit body heat, which must be considered when computing aircon HP. If more than three people frequently occupy the room, most aircon brands recommend getting a unit with higher HP.  

Room layout 

If your room has large windows, this means that it receives more direct sunlight which heats up the room, especially if the windows don’t have anything to protect against the sun’s rays, such as curtains, blinds, or tinting. The position of the windows also matters. If the room has west-facing windows, this means that it gets especially hot when it receives the afternoon sun, which is hotter compared to the morning sun. 

Another thing to consider is whether the room has any insulation installed. If the walls and roofs are properly insulated, they keep the heat out while also trapping the cool air from the aircon so it stays inside the room.

See also: Cheap 32-inch TVs under Php5,000

Lighting and other sources of heat

Another factor to add to the equation is the heat that is emitted from the different appliances inside the room such as televisions and refrigerators, as well as light sources such as light bulbs and lamps. Stove ranges are also a major source of heat, which are common in studio-type condo units. Although their individual heat emissions may be minimal, the cumulative emissions of multiple appliances may be significant, especially if several of these are frequently in use. 

Before looking for your next AC unit, do a quick survey of the room and check for these factors. If your room has one or more factor that increases the heat load inside the room, you may opt for getting an aircon unit with at most one HP capacity higher than recommended. 


When purchasing a new air conditioner, make sure to consider the unit’s HP so that you get the best cooling experience, without shooting up your electricity bill. Even on the hottest days, having a good aircon unit for your room will help you keep your cool. 



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  1. Hello Adam! Personally, I found it as a great guide on Aircon ACs. After reading this, I have no confusion about what the inverter and non inverter ACs are and where to use which one. Also, the room size chart is a great hack for me. Even I came to know that room layout also affects the cooling of the AC. Definitely, reading this blog will add filters in AC purchasing. Thanks for the information that I needed. Keep posting.