Guide to Choosing the Right Air Conditioner for Your Home


We all spend months waiting for summer to return right when the season ends. As much as we look forward to the warm weather and the activities it brings, we forget how high temperatures can get. Once the season hits it’s peak – so does the humid heat. If central air conditioning is not an option for your home, there are plenty of inexpensive alternatives that would be perfect for your home. 

Things to Consider 

Noise Level –  Air conditioner models with the best ratings are generally quiet.  Noisy air conditioners disturb light sleepers, even when set on low, and are overall distracting when set on high. We recommend testing the unit before bringing it home.

Window Location –  Window air conditioners do a better job blowing air in one direction. To a uniformly cool a room, you will need to direct air to it’s center. If your window is not centered on the wall, be sure to check whether your A/C needs to blow air to the right or left.

Proper Installation –  To get the most efficient use from your air conditioner, it must be properly installed. Most units are intended for double-hung windows. If you have casement windows, you may want to consider a through-the-wall air conditioner. Make sure that the unit is level so it drains correctly. Also, move any heat-generating devices away from the unit.

Check Filter Location-  Make sure you have easy access to the filtration system in the unit. You should frequently clean filters or replace them if needed.

Intelligent Cooling –  Your new air conditioner can be just as high tech as your hand held device, allowing you to control and adjust settings from your smart phone. You can even interconnect them to other cooling units in your home depends on what kind of unit you choose.

Watch the Warranty –  Before you purchase your new air conditioner, check the manufactures website for information or ask the retailer about the warranty for that model and brand.

Sizing Up Your Options 

Start your search by determining the size for the unit you need for the space you want to cool. Window air conditioners have cooling capacities ranging from 5, 000 to 12, 500 Btu’s.

A rule of thumb is that your air conditioner needs 20 Btu per square foot of living space. Energy Start recommends you take in other considerations such as the height of your ceiling, where the unit will be placed, and the size of your windows and doorways.

  • If the room is heavily shaded, reduce capacity by 10 percent.
  • If the room gets a lot of sunlight, increase capacity by 10 percent.
  • If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 Btu for each additional person.
  • If the unit is used in a kitchen, increase capacity by 3,00 Btu.
Additional Information to Consider
You can disperse air using a ceiling fan or standing fan to circulate cool air throughout the room. The sunniest rooms in your home will need larger capacity cooling units. Keep in mind the square footage needed to cool adjoining rooms.

Which Model is Right for You?

The type of air conditioner you choose all depends on the space you are trying to cool. If you are cooling a small space, a small window unit is a the best option. If you need to cool a larger area you will want to focus on a unit that will match your square footage.

Almost all window units meet the latest Energy Star standards, which requires them to use 15 percent less energy than units without that certification.

Window AC’s 48477328_s

Small – Cost: $100-$200. Capacity ranges from 5,000 – 6,500 Btu/hr. Cools roughly 100-300 square ft. These are the smallest, lightest, and least expensive units.

Medium– Cost: $200-$300. Capacity ranges from 7,00 – 8,00 Btu/hr. Cools roughly 250-400 square ft.

Large – Cost: $300-$400. Capacity Ranges from 9,800-12,500 Btu/hr. Cools between 350-600 square ft. Best for cooling a large room, however, bulk and weight can make these models difficult to install.

Portable AC’s10768566_s

Portable air conditioners are intended for homes in which window configuration prevents any installation of window units.

These units can be moved between rooms, however, are
heavy and less efficient than newer window units.

Capacity ranges from 5,00-15,500 Btu. Cost: $300-600.

Split Ductless AC’swoman-sitting-under-air-conditioner - cropped

These units are becoming increasingly popular because they are a smart way to cool a limited number of rooms without having to install duct-work.

Although these air conditioners are the most expensive, they do the best job at cooling rooms and are much quieter indoors than window units.

Cost: $1000 and up.

More Information 

Do you already have an air conditioner, but it’s not running like it used to? No problem, 1st Source Servall has got you covered!

Get your replacement parts here: Air Conditioning Parts and Room Air Conditioner Parts

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