Air Conditioning Shopping Guide

Air conditioners are a hot item these days. With the temperature getting warmer and warmer, some people can’t stand the heat and are looking to buy an air conditioner. It helps stay as comfortable and as productive as during colder times where you either don’t need air conditioning or actually need to heat. However, there are many types of machines, with a lot of differing features. Here are a few guidelines to help out with the process of buying an air conditioner.

There are three main types of air conditioning: Window unit, portable unit, and the central unit. A window unit is an air conditioner that you put in a window frame, surrounded by wood or Plexiglas to keep the hot air out of the room and to help the conditioner stay in place. There are more horizontally-oriented window units, meant for guillotine windows and there are more vertically-oriented units, meant for windows that slide from right to left. Sometimes window-type units are actually put through a hole made in a wall. The said hole needs to be about the same size as the air conditioner. A portable unit is similar, except it is usually on wheels and has ducts to get the air in and out of the unit. You surround the ducts with Plexiglas or wood as it was done with the windows unit. Thus, they are not that mobile, but they are a little simpler to move around than window units. For central air conditioning, there is a unit located outside the building, which gets air inside the building through ducts going to multiple rooms. Sometimes, the central air conditioner is installed on the roof. Also, these central units are not connected to a power outlet.

The power of an air conditioning unit is calculated in BTUs, which stands for British Temperature Unit. Generally, the weakest window units start at 5000 BTUs, those are good to cool about 150 square feet. Window and portable air conditioners at 5000, 6000, 8000, 9000, 10000 and 12000 BTUs are easily available. At 12000 BTUs, you can cool about 550 square feet of room surface. Central air conditioners easily go beyond 12000 BTUs, since they are meant to cool bigger buildings, or cool buildings more evenly. In the case of window units, generally speaking, the more powerful the unit is, the bigger the unit gets, which also tends to mean that the installation will be harder.

To find out which air conditioner is right for you, you need to factor in the area you need to cover, the type of window you have, the space you have to put it in and the budget you can spend on it. It might need to be installed professionally, also consider that some companies might offer you to rent a unit and they will store it for you during the winter.

On the level of energy-saving, air conditioners on average get better energy ratings every year. They also get a little smaller as time goes by. When you also factor in the warranty, it is not such a bad investment to get a new air conditioner instead of bargain-hunting a used one, plus you will probably save time, which is also an advantage for you.

Thanks again for reading – Arms & Cole AC & Refrigeration Contractors