Should You Install a Window Air-Conditioning Unit?

Should You Install a Window Air-Conditioning Unit?

Window air conditioners are not generally the most efficient option for cooling a house, but they have their uses, particularly for cooling individual rooms. If you need to cool a room that your air conditioning ductwork doesn’t reach, a window air conditioner is not a bad choice.

Also, some homeowners, deterred by the cost of replacing a central air conditioner when it conks out, may try to get by with one or more window A/Cs.

Here’s some shopping advice for window A/Cs:

Efficiency

You can tell how efficient the room A/C is by the EER, the energy efficiency ratio, which is provided on a label. A/Cs with the Energy Star label are rated for efficiency.

Capacity

Just as a central A/C must be sized for cooling capacity according to the square footage of the house, the capacity of the room A/C you choose should also depend on the size of the room. Remember that bigger is not always better. A room A/C that’s too large will actually be less efficient.

Generally, you will need a capacity of 20 BTUs (British thermal units) per each square foot of space. Room height, shading, window size, and number of windows will also figure in.

What to Look For in a Room A/C

Make sure that the A/C you choose can direct airflow in the direction you want it to flow. Also, a control called “Super Thrust” or “Power Thrust” means the unit can send cooled air deep into the room.

Installing the Room A/C

The A/C should be level when you install it so the drainage system and other parts work efficiently.

Smaller units — those that draw less than 7.5 amps — may be plugged into a 115-volt circuit as long as no other major appliances are plugged in. Larger room A/Cs need a dedicated 115-volt circuit, while the largest models will need a 230-volt circuit. If you don’t have the right circuit, you will have to hire an electrician to install one that works for the A/C you want.

To discuss installing a window A/C, contact Powers Heating and Air of Peachtree City.

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