How To Select A Window AC Unit

By Robert Siegrist

A Window AC Unit is an air conditioning unit that is mounted in a window. This allows the system to exhaust warm air outside the room. A Window AC Unit is a good choice if you are cooling only a small area like one or two rooms. This is a more economical choice than opting for a central air conditioning system. Aside from avoiding energy loss accounted by ducted central units, a Window AC Unit will cost less initially and in the long run.

When choosing a Window AC Unit, keep in mind that size is important. Window AC Units that are too small run continually but are not cooling the room effectively. Meanwhile, too large Window AC Units for the space operate less effectively than units in correct size. Bigger units cool the room so quickly but they do not remove humidity from the air which results to frequent turning off and on. The room will then feel soggy, dank and of course, less comfortable. Further, larger units cost more as it uses additional energy while smaller units running for a longer time use less energy to completely cool a room.

The cooling capacity of a Window AC Unit (and other types of AC) is measured in British Thermal Units or BTU per hour. This measurement helps in figuring out the right air conditioning unit size for your room. So first, measure the room to be cooled and match with the BTU chart. Multiply the length by the width of the room to know the square footage.

Here are some tips in relation to finding the correct size of a Window AC Unit:

  • For a room shaded heavily, decrease the BTU capacity by 10%;
  • For a very sunny room, raise the BTU capacity by 10%;
  • For a room regularly occupied by more than two people, add 600 BTU for each additional person; and for a kitchen, add 4,000 BTU/Hr.

Further, when selecting a Window AC Unit, check the unit’s Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) which is used to estimate the operating cost of the unit. You use this to compare it with similar Window AC Unit models. The point is for you to choose the one with higher EER because it will cost you less to operate. Also, see to it that the unit you choose has an Energy Star rating. The rating means that the unit utilizes advanced heat transfer technologies which save energy. It also means that the Window AC Unit exceeds by at least 15% the minimum federal standards for energy consumption.

How To Maintain A Window AC Unit

For you to easily maintain a Window AC Unit, select the unit that has a slide out filter because they are easy to manage during cleaning of the filter. Keep in mind that cleaning the filter helps in saving energy and money. It also helps the air to stay fresher.

Other features to look for that will help you economize in the long run are a compressor switch so that it does not operate continuously, three-speed fan controls that allow adjustment of the amount of cool air and noise, time setter, and digital thermostats. Another feature to look for when purchasing a Window AC Unit, is a remote control, this really comes in handy when you need to change the temperature or turn the unit off.

Back to top

Comment on this article: