Window Air Conditioners

different types of window air conditioners

Window air conditioners? Do people still buy window air conditioners? Yes, they do, and the window air conditioner market is alive and well, although the units barely resemble the models of old. Also called room air conditioners, today’s window air conditioners are sleek, and compared to the ones of just a couple of decades ago, they’re lightweight and small. Even if you're renting your home, there's no reason to suffer through the heat of summer. A window unit air conditioner can keep you cool and comfy, night and day.

Modern window unit air conditioners

Modern room air conditioners are a far cry from the obsolete energy monsters that people used to have in their homes. Today’s units are very energy efficient and are also more capable of cooling. Many models of window air conditioners also have extra features like air purifiers and voltage sensors that can adjust for periods of low voltage. Some models can even be operated by remote control. To really save on energy costs, choose a window air conditioner with an Energy Star rating.

Low profile window air conditioners

One of the most popular types of window air conditioners is the low profile model. These are small window air conditioners that take up little space. Some of these are only twelve inches tall, so they don’t block out a lot of window. They’re also very lightweight, so they can be moved from room to room with little fuss or bother. These units don't overpower or overwhelm a room like many models of the past did.

The vertical window air conditioner

Another popular type is the vertical window air conditioner. These are made to be used in windows that slide open from side to side instead of opening by pushing the window up. Since more new houses are built with the sliding windows, the vertical window air conditioner is gaining steadily in popularity. This wasn't usually an option with room air conditioners of the past.

Mini window air conditioners

There's also something referred to as a mini air conditioner or a mini window air conditioner. As the name implies, these units are small and lightweight. They're available in different BTUs. As an example, a 5,000 BTU mini window air conditioner can effectively cool 150 square feet. That's about the size of an average bedroom. Some of these mini air conditioners come with special features like anti-bacterial filters and air-direction controls.

Why a window air conditioner?

You might be wondering why someone would purchase a window air conditioner when most people have central heat and air. For one thing, not everyone can afford to have a costly heat and air central system and ductwork installed, so a cheap window air conditioner can offer them some relief from sweltering summers.

Even homeowners who have central heat and air often purchase cheap window air conditioners to boost their cooling in extra-warm rooms in the home. Room air conditioners might also be used in newly added rooms instead of buying a larger central unit and having additional ductwork installed.

Renters frequently purchase window air conditioners for their apartments, condominiums, or rental houses. Some landlords are notorious for not keeping their cooling and heating systems up to date, and renters can enjoy inexpensive comfort from a cheap window air conditioner.

How much space can a window air conditioner cool?

An air conditioner’s power is measured in BTUs. The more BTUs an air conditioner has, the larger the area it can cool. Here’s a general rule of thumb for the cooling capability of window air conditioners:

5,000 BTU air conditioner – 150 square feet

6,000 BTU air conditioner – 200 square feet

8,000 BTU air conditioner – 300 square feet

10,000 BTU air conditioner – 350 square feet

12,000 BTU air conditioner – 500 square feet

15,000 BTU air conditioner – 700 square feet

18,000 BTU air conditioner – 1,000 square feet

24,000 BTU air conditioner – 1,500 square feet

Remember, this is just a general guideline. Depending on your unique situation, you may need a smaller or larger unit to effectively cool your room or rooms. If you use more than one window air conditioner, you can adjust different ones in your home for the comfort of different members of your family. If you like to sleep in cool conditions, but your kids prefer their rooms to be warmer, window air conditioners can easily handle the job.

Vertical window air conditioners are now available.
Vertical window air conditioners are now available.
This window Air conditioner has an Energy Star rating.
This window Air conditioner has an Energy Star rating.
An example of a mini window air conditioner.
An example of a mini window air conditioner.

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Comments 43 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Very interesting but in England - no fear for the need of that. Thank you for a great hub.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Oh Habee I remember some of our ancient window units...What a laugh...

I never knew they came in vertical. That makes it so much easier on finding the right fit! Great hub!


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 6 years ago from Central Texas

Interesting info, Habee. I can even remember when we used the old "swamp coolers" in our windows. Times they are-a-changin' -- and in this case muchly for the better. Best, Sis


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Growing up in Connecticut, we never even used a fan! There were a few hot days, but we just got through them. Now everything is air conditioned but so much of it is unnecessary. I have a daughter in New Hampshire who begins using her air conditioning as soon as she doesn't need heat. I suggested opening her windows instead, but she didn't like that idea. So she's overheated in winter and over cooled in summer. Of course I see the need of air conditioning in the south, as much as New England needs heat in winter, but I like to enjoy the weather as much as I can.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, HH. So you don't have air conditioning?


MyWebs profile image

MyWebs 6 years ago from Sheridan, WY

Can't live without AC here in Las Vegas. Summer highs of 120 make it tough on the body and electric bill. My window unit needs replacing very soon too.


Carol the Writer profile image

Carol the Writer 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Window air conditioners have certainly evolved. I can do without a heater, but an air conditioner is a necessity here in Houston.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Usually I say crank it up.. but this weather has been so cold, I haven't had it on since October!!!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Ann! Yep, window air conditioners have come a long way!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Sis! Always good to hear from you.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Sheila, we have to have air conditioning down here! It's like a sauna in the summer.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Mywebs, it gets hot here, too, and VERY humid!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Me, too, Carol. We have used our heat more this winter, however.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Same here, Chris!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Awesome info - as usual - I like my portable one in the office the best! When it hits 105-110, I'm just fine. I like it better than the window one actually but when then again, any AC is good when you have to work!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Audrey, I'm with you! Any port in a storm!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

hi habee, in the Philippines we use window only because the weather is so comfortable whole year round, they dont need centralized one, Thank you for this one, Maita


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 6 years ago from India

Many people would be surprised to know that in India everyone uses window A/c as it is cheap both in cost and in running and if you need to cool only 1 room why run the whole big unit which can cool the whole home. So having a window a/c makes more sense to me than have a cental A/c unit.


bihar profile image

bihar 6 years ago from Patna

These type of conditioners are popular in countries like India. Very cost effective.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

That makes sense, Maita!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for this additional info, Sweetie!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for reading Bihar!


Lyria profile image

Lyria 6 years ago

Yep, I still use window AC in two second floor rooms. I'm thinking of upgrading this year to one of those hew portable units. They cost a little more but it would be worth it to not block out almost the whole window!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

True, Lyria. The new window air conditioners are a big improvement over the old ones!


Custom Gates 6 years ago

I need one of those! Especially here in the Philippines.. a tropical country.. It's very hot in here now and plus we have rotational brown outs daily which is sucks! And our AC needs back up! lol.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

It gets really hot and humid here, too, customgates!


portableac7 profile image

portableac7 6 years ago

'Yep, I still use window AC in two second floor rooms. I'm thinking of upgrading this year to one of those hew portable units. They cost a little more but it would be worth it to not block out almost the whole window!" Ha4x..... I have the similar opinion


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Portable, I totally agree, also!


kellydove profile image

kellydove 6 years ago

good hub check my hub


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Will do, Kelly!


Derek D profile image

Derek D 6 years ago from United States

Boy, window air conditioners sure have changed from what I remember.

Looks like they pack a pretty good punch in terms of the BTUs they put out.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

You got that right, Derek! Today's window air conditioners are a vast improvement!


Guitar Loop Pedal 6 years ago

Wow I have never heard of a "Window" air conditioner before. It's a good thing that I stopped by. Good article Habee.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Guitar Loop!


air conditioning unit prices 5 years ago

Awesome hub, keep em coming.


habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Many thanks!


toneyahuja profile image

toneyahuja 5 years ago from India

awesome on air conditioners.

Special for your air conditions all types of furnace filters. You can take dealership too. find more techniques and information for cleaning and how to change the air conditions filter. http://www.airsponge.com


habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Toney. Can those be used for window air conditioners, too?


elf_cash profile image

elf_cash 5 years ago

Good take on window air conditioners. These units sure have improved over the years.


habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


Tim 4 years ago

Would say 2 5000 BTU A/Cs be the same as a single 10000 BTU temp would be at the same setting if 2 units.

My apartment is an odd shape imagine a captial J & F merged and tends to offer very poor air flow for cooling, in the past with my accient like 20yr 10000BTU that died in sept 2011 I need a fan to blow the cold air around outside the room the A/C was located.

So i'm wondering if something like a 5000BTU in the living room where to old one use to be and a 5000BTU on the other end of my apartment set to the same temp would be better then the same temp set on a single 10000BTU


hvachelper 4 years ago

Wow! very insightful information. Great details on AC units! I live in northern california and summer time here is usually around 100 degrees. We have a company here called Hignell that does AC installation and repare, if you live in northern california you might want to give them a look. Here's their website http://www.hignell.com/heating-and-air/residential... Stay cool everyone!


Graham 3 years ago

I have a room that's not connected to the main part of my house, and it ended up being cheaper to get a window air conditioner instead of trying to run the central air conditioning over. I wasn't sure what size to get though so this was helpful. I think I'll get one from this heating and air conditioning place in Utah:

http://www.genuine-comfort.com

Does anyone have any tips for space heaters as well? The room is well-insulated, is there a good economical heater I can use to keep it warm?

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