Buying a new air conditioner offers a variety of benefits. If you have decided it’s time for a new unit, there are a few things to be considered to make sure you choose the right one for your needs.
- Window units: These fit in a window opening, with a vent to the outside. Window units are the most popular air conditioners on the market, especially for those who love to DIY, as they are easy to install and remove when necessary.
- Central/whole-home units: These cool the entire home at once, and are usually combined with heating to make up your HVAC system. They are generally more expensive and require professional installation, but are common especially in areas like Chicago that use both heating and air conditioning throughout the year.
- Through-the-wall units: Larger and heavier than window units, through-the-wall units rest within a weight-supporting sleeve in the exterior wall. Your electric circuits need to be reviewed before installation, as they require greater voltage.
- Portable units: These exhaust through temporary ducting and can be moved from room to room. Portable units are ideal for spaces without windows or sufficient ventilation.
Air conditioning capacity is measured in BTUs. A through-the-wall unit can exceed 20,000 BTUs while a small window unit can deliver as few as 3,000 BTUs. So what capacity will you need? Consider these factors:
- Room size
- Number of windows
- Room exposure
- Quality of room insulation
- Other appliances used
- Average number of people that spend time in the room
Energy Efficiency Ratio rating (EER) is the ratio of cooling capacity in BTUs per hour to the power input in watts. In other words, the higher the EER rating an air conditioner has, the more energy efficient it is. Choosing a properly sized unit for your space is important for energy efficiency: a unit that is too small won’t meet your needs, but a unit that is too large will cost more to run.
If you need assistance with choosing or installing an air conditioner, contact Heatmasters. Don’t forget, if it reaches at least 100 degrees on the 4th of July, your qualifying system will be free! See official rules for complete details. Contact us at 773-777-5700.
Courtesy of Bob Vila