Posted on 6 Comments

TCL Inverter 12000BTU Air Con Review

Our first aircon unit is up and running, just in time for summer. I can’t wait to tell you about it. And of course we’re bringing you a TCL Inverter 12000BTU Air Con Review. We bought this mid wall split unit through Basic Cooling, based in Brackenfell, Cape Town. We’ve never had an air conditioning unit installed in our home before so this really is a luxurious treat.

There Are Many Types of Air Conditioning Units

There are several types of air cons and I can’t possibly tell you the pros and cons of all of them. However, for the last couple of years, we used a portable unit on the hottest of days here in the Swartland. Our one is noisy and always seems to be in the way. I know that portable units can also be a bit power hungry. So, they’re okay if you don’t have any other options but on most days I’d actually rather be hot than have to listen to it.

brackets to mount exterior half of air conditioning unit TCL 12000BTU
The brackets ready for mounting the exterior half of the air conditioning unit. But first, paint!

However, I can tell you that we purposefully bought this inverter type air con for two main reasons:

  • They use a little less power than other types. This will be most useful when can finally go green and get our solar installation up and running.
  • This particular brand (as well as a couple of others) don’t mind power fluctuations too much. Useful when you live in a country with load shedding and other electricity supply issues.
  • As per the description, we got a mid wall split unit. And that, of course, means that the noisy bit goes outside! Whoo hoo!

The downside; they are a bit more expensive for the initial purchase than other types.

Brackets welded to steel frame
The same brackets from the inside, after welding

Buying and Installing the Air Conditioning Unit

The honest truth is that we bought the air con in February of this year. It wasn’t too long before the Covid19 Lockdown in South Africa. Therefore, we had it installed up on the wall for several months before we could actually use it. We had to wait before we could ask an electrician to make the final connections. Thankfully, this was over the winter months so we didn’t need an air con as much (although a heater would have been pleasant).

Installation itself meant we had to install brackets on the outside in order to mount the exterior half of the air con unit. Kevin cut two lengths of angle iron which we carefully pushed through holes we cut in the fibre cement boards. Once they were through we securely welded them in place on the interior steel frame. (If you recall, we built a steel frame around the sliding door so that it would fit in the opening where the doors were originally. And we fitted a great little bookshelf.) After that it was quite simple to mount the air con unit itself.

But now that it’s up and running, we have had great fun testing out all the features.

It’s time for the TCL Inverter 12000BTU air con review.

Mounting and securing a split mid wall TCL 12000BTU air conditioning unit
And up it goes!

TCL Inverter 12000BTU Air Con Review

This little air conditioning unit is perfect for our needs so we are extremely pleased with our purchase.

  • The sleek design looks good on the wall
  • It is almost near silent when running
  • It has various settings such as turbo, eco and normal
  • It has an auto-off timer function
  • It has a “health” setting, that according to the manual, controls the ionizer or plasma generator (That sounds awesome! Who doesn’t want to talk about plasma generators like they know what that means?)
  • The “sleep” function automatically controls the temperature of the room for the best night’s sleep
  • There’s also an “automatic” setting that goes by the name of “I feel” on the remote
  • The unit comes with a remote control and a holder that you can mount on the wall. We have not yet mounted the holder as we’re still deciding where to put it.
  • Of course, it does also have a heater function for winter

I’m sure we’re only just discovering all the settings, but I can’t think of any more we’d need other than those.

In conclusion, we’re extremely happy with our purchase and in time, will be purchasing more units for other sections of the house to cater for the other private living areas.

TCL  Inverter 12000BTU Air Con mounted on the interior wall

About Basic Cooling

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, we purchased the TCL air conditioning unit through Basic Cooling. This company is based in Brackenfell in Cape Town. They supply, install, maintain and repair several brands of air conditioning units. The TCL brand is the one they recommended for our requirements. We have enjoyed working with them in the supply of the TCL air con unit as well as previously in other situations. They are quick to respond to emails and do on site maintenance efficiently and with a smile on their technicians’ faces.

Perhaps they can help you with your own air con requirements.

6 thoughts on “TCL Inverter 12000BTU Air Con Review

  1. TCL is a lower end Chinese brand. Fine products though.

    Last time I bought a wall mount aircon in China, it was a tossup between a TCL and a Xiaomi (the Xiaomi had more bells and whistles – including wifi smart control), I went with the TCL as it was for the tenant.

    In China they’re sold in 匹. Usually a 1.5匹 aircon for a standard room, which is what you have – 12000BTU = 1.5匹

    1.5匹/12000BTU are usually sold as suitable for a 15m – 22m room size.

    In China something that size would be around 1750RMB *including install*. Or about R4300 in randela’s.
    Would be interesting to compare SA pricing to see how much of a difference it is!

    Example link from JD for a similar TCL a/c (the equivalent of Hirch’s or similar in China)

    In China the trend now is to have the temperature display in the aircon in white, which is nice and unobtrusive (follow that link above to see an example).

    1. Unfortunately freight to South Africa is quite high, which drives up the price of almost everything for us.

      1. Actually freight to South Africa is relatively cheap from China, at least last time I shipped from that side. I’ll probably be shipping another container of bits and bob’s (plumbing, lighting, furniture, etc) once my main house is closer to finished, as the quality of product in China is far better than here at far better pricing.

        The main costs here are **extortionate** clearance fee’s, and customs holdups (which incur storage fee’s at… extortionate pricing), as well as a flaky currency thats worth..less.

        You will of course have to add duties and vat on top of the China pricing, but can also take off China duties and Chinese vat from the China price. I haven’t checked the HS Code for aircon’s to see what they are. Code is 8415.1010 if you want to look.

        In other news, we’re moving onto the 3rd floor of my own build, I expect to have a roof on the house by the end of the year.


  2. That sounds like an excellent addition to your house. Nice to know that in addition to keeping your surroundings at a comfortable temperature you can also have as much plasma as you want. Re the higher initial cost, given that this is a long-term purchase, it’s probably worth gritting your teeth and investing a bit more now, rather than economising now and just kicking the cost down the road, finding yourselves dealing with constant breakdowns or higher energy consumption later on. I wish you many happy, cool days in your container house!

    1. That’s how we felt; rather spend a bit extra and get a product that will work better in our circumstances. 🙂

  3. beaucoup de problemes avec le defrost cette hiver quel est le probleme

What do you think? Let us know!