Window Air Conditioning Units
Window AC Units vs. Central AC Units
The number one question that our customers often have is would a window air conditioning unit or central air conditioning unit be more appropriate for me? The answer to that question isn’t universal. Factors such as square footage, where you live, and the current layout of your home all determine if a window unit is right for you.
For starters, window units are specifically made for cooling and humidity support in a small area. These can include guest houses, closets, or efficiency apartments that are not very high in square footage. Window units are also quite popular to use in addition to central air units in order to cool tight corners or other problem areas that do not receive adequate air flow.
Window air conditioners are a step up from portable A/C's and a step back from central AC's. Read more about more different types of air conditioners.
Because they are only used for small areas, buying 5 cheap window units to cool a large area is not only foolish, but your energy bill is likely to be astronomical.
Differences in Pricing
Window air conditioners are a cost effective alternative to central AC systems for small rooms.
If you are on the fence in terms of square footage, the next thing to do is get an estimate for a central air unit. Before you go any further, it is important to have at least some idea how much a central unit may cost you. If you already have heating ducts that can be modified a 2000 square foot home will cost between $3500 and $4000 USD. This cost doubles with the absence of existing duct work.
Four thousand dollars may seem like a great deal of money, but window units are much more expensive to run. If you have the available funds and you are not sure if your apartment would be satisfied with a window unit, it is quite possible that running a central unit may be a lot cheaper over time.
Choosing the Right Window Unit
So, now that you have decided on a window unit$mdash;what’s next? The first, and extremely important first, step you must take is to determine what size of unit you will be needing. Just like with central air conditioning units, the amount of cooling a unit is capable of is measured in BTU’s. Fortunately, the process for determining the size of unit you need is nowhere near as complicated. There are numerous charts online that can tell you exactly what BTU number unit your home will require based on its square footage.
Window Air Conditioner Installation
Next, you must determine if your unit will be placed in an actual double hung window or if you will mount it in the wall. Different models are designed to be installed in different places. For a more permanent long term solution, go ahead and install your unit in the wall. Keep in mind that this will require some minor construction, but it is likely to be more secure, easier to remove your unit for summer storage, and energy efficient.
When installing your unit in a window, please make sure it is done correctly and that everything is secure. Dropping a heavy window unit from multiple stories high is extremely dangerous to those waiting below, and in some cases, can even cause death. On an off note, they do currently make vertical window units if you do not have a double hung window to work with.
Unlike with central units where a lot of the quality depends on how much care was taken during the installation process, with window units the make and model really does matter. Take some time, do some online research, check out the consumer reports, and compare and contrast different units. Find one that has the qualifications you desire and will work best for your residence. Expect to spend anywhere between $200 and $900 on a sturdy window unit depending on its size, brand name, and its added accessories.
Cons of Window Units
Even though window units are space efficient and practical for enclosed spaces, there is an extensive list of negatives that should be taken into consideration as well. Keep these few points in mind when deciding if you should add a window unit to your home:
- Window units are extremely noisy, especially some of the older models.
- Compared to central air units, window units are extremely energy inefficient.
- They are prone to mold buildup.
- Window units can be difficult to install in some homes
Never consider a window air conditioner as a substitute or viable alternative to a full central air system. They are different units used for different purposes. The question shouldn’t be “Should I get a window air conditioner or central air conditioner?” It should be “What type of air conditioner is right for my home?”
Window Unit Routine Maintenance/Upkeep
Window units, even though they are rather simple and small, do require a certain amount of routine maintenance. Following these simple steps can not only make your unit last longer, but it can also prevent hazardous molds and other harmful particles from entering your home:
- Clean your filter monthly. Do this religiously. No exceptions.
- Check for insect/animal nests and remove them
- Check your remote batteries and change them often
- Inspect your coils for frost build up and remove it
- Clean your condenser coils at least once per season
Tips for Making the Most of Your AC Unit and Saving Money
Also, there are a few things one can do increase the efficiency of your window unit and save some money on your monthly energy bill. Try using your ceiling fans in the evening as much as possible. This not only gets the air moving, but can reduce the overall amount of time that your unit is operating.
Do not place your window unit in a window that receives large amounts of direct sunlight. Your unit should come with a sealing kit of some sort to use during installation. These kits make it to where cold air does not escape the room letting warm air in. Finally, try and reduce the amount you use heat producing appliances like ovens, hair driers, and more. Also, should your unit break down beyond your ability to repair it, it is usually best to just replace the whole thing with a new one rather than invest a great deal of money into a cheap window unit.
For more information on the different types of air conditioning units feel free to browse around our site for a bit, or contact one of our experienced staff members today!