In the blazing summer months – or all year round in hot climates – nothing can match the feeling of relief you get from air conditioning. As the mercury rises, the cool, dry air churned out by that humming compressor can feel just like heaven.
While there are a few different options for cooling your home, the most convenient method for most people is a window air conditioner (A/C) unit. They are affordable, effective, and relatively easy to install. However, they are not necessarily appropriate for every situation, and it is important to consider certain factors before settling on a window A/C unit as the best choice.
Space and Capacity
First, consider the area you want to cool. If you are only looking to cool a room or two, then a window unit is a good choice. Aside from just having a window in it, the room must be of appropriate size so that a window A/C unit can keep it cool. You also want to measure the room, or at least make a good estimate, in order to choose the right size unit.
Most manufacturers stamp the packaging with an estimate of the area that the unit is able to cool. A general rule of thumb is that a 5000 BTU A/C unit can cool about 150 square feet. For large areas, consider using multiple units or getting one that is more powerful. Rooms that are usually occupied by several people at a time require a more powerful air conditioner to keep cool, as do kitchens, in order to offset oven heat.
Second, you want to make sure the window can accommodate the A/C unit safely. Adjustable installation hardware is usually included with the unit, but for windows that are unusually shaped, damaged, or otherwise cannot support the body of the unit, a window air conditioner may not be a safe choice. Proper installation is important not only for safety, but to ensure cooled air is not lost.
If the room is of an appropriate size and has a window that can accommodate one, than this type of A/C unit is a good option for keeping cool. However, if you need to cool a large area, such as a whole house or a windowless room, you should explore other options like as a portable A/C unit or central air conditioning. When deciding on a cooling solution for your home, it’s important to take all these things into account in order to choose the most appropriate option.