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How to Get Started For Buying the Air Conditioner Units

Updated on December 20, 2015

How to Choose the Air Conditioner Units for Your Room

  • Effectively cools a room - Air conditioner units that have the same cooling capacity can sometimes differ quite a bit with their actual ability to cool or dehumidify a room. Don’t rely only on the unit’s BTU rating.
  • Uses less energy - If you see an Energy Star label, that means the unit has been rated at least 10 percent more energy efficient than units without the rating.
  • Runs quietly - Often, if you read reviews of units, you will find that the main complaint is the loud operation.
  • Operates intuitively - The controls of the unit should be user-friendly, the panel should be logically laid out and it should be easy to remove the filter for cleaning.
  • Has convenient features - Remote controls, built-in timers, thermostats and digital controls are being seen more often on units, even lower-end ones.
  • Promises good value - Don’t sacrifice durability for cost. If you buy a cheaper model and it soon breaks, that costs you more in the long run.
  • Offers a good warranty - Does it offer a long warranty? What are the terms of the warranty, such as shipping costs and labor if the unit needs repair?

Here's 12 Smart Tips for You Before Purchase an Air Conditioner

What to Know Before You Shop an Air Conditioner Unit

Get the capacity you need

Bigger isn’t always better with air conditioners. An air conditioner needs to remove moisture from the air in addition to cooling it. A too-small unit won’t cool your area effectively, but a too-large unit won’t have the ability to effectively remove humidity in the air. Figure out what your need is in terms of BTUs before you begin shopping.

Measure your window

Some air conditioner units are larger than others. Units that use the same number of BTUs can vary by several inches in their size. Fully open your window and measure it carefully to determine your size limits. Some windows, such as casement or sliding windows, are taller than they are wide. Consider this fact and look for a unit with similar dimensions.

What Type of Window Air Conditioner Energy You Consider For Your Room?

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Consider window location

Your air conditioner should be able to direct cold air to the middle of the room, in order to cool effectively. Most air conditioner units do a better job of blowing in one direction over another. Try to find windows that would be ideal for blowing to the middle of the room.

Also consider that some units need to have extra space on one side or another so that you can remove and replace the filter. Finally, the power cord needs to reach an outlet, of course, so consider that as well.

Ascertain the electrical requirements

Most circuits are designed for up to 15 amps of electricity, and a large air conditioner unit can run on up to 15 amps by itself. Therefore, the unit needs to have its own breaker so that it doesn’t trip the circuit breaker. If you buy a smaller unit, it may be able to share a circuit with some other small electrical item, depending on what it is.

Most window air conditioners use the standard three-prong plug handling up to 15 amps and 125 volts. This includes the units described in this report. Some very large units however, (those of over 12,000 BTUs) can use 125 volts/20 amps, 250 volts/15 amps or even higher. You will need to consult with an electrician and upgrade your circuits if you decide to use one of these heavy-duty units. This process will of course add to the cost of installing and using the air conditioner.

Get to Know About the Types and Features of Air Conditioner Units

Air Conditioner Types

Air conditioners can fit a variety of window sizes and types. Some air conditioners are made for casement and slider windows, some for double-hung installation. Still others are made to be installed through a wall. To find out what size air conditioner you need, first determine the square footage of the room or part of a house that you want cooled. If you are hoping to cool a room that is often used by several people at once, or if you are cooling a kitchen, you may need more capacity.

  • Small air conditioners

These units cool an area of around 100 to 300 sq. feet and feature capacity between 5,000 and 6,500 BTU/hr.

Pros:

These air conditioner units are often the lightest, most economical to buy, and of course the smallest types.

Cons:

They often aren’t enough to cool a room larger than 300 sq. feet.


Midsized Air Conditioner
Midsized Air Conditioner
  • Midsized air conditioners

These units cool an area around 250 to 400 sq. feet, and feature capacity between 7,000 and 8,200 BTU/hr.

Pros:

These units are usually sufficient to cool a room of up to 400 sq. feet.

Cons:

They are typically more expensive, and their bulk and higher weight make them harder to take down and store for the cooler months.

Large Air Conditioner
Large Air Conditioner
  • Large air conditioners

These units cool an area around 350 to 650 sq. feet, and feature capacity between 9,800 and 12,500 BTU/hr.

Pros:

This unit can cool up to 650, and that is a very large room or a decent portion of a house.

Cons:

These air conditioner units can be very hard to install because they are so heavy and bulky. If you purchase an air conditioner that is too powerful, it can cause the compressor to cycle too often off and on, and this means the unit won’t lower the humidity sufficiently. This scenario creates a room that is too cold and damp.

Top 10 Best Air Conditioner Type in the World

Features of Air Conditioners
Features of Air Conditioners

Features of Air Conditioner Units

We rated several air conditioner units and they all did an admirable job of cooling. Convenience features such as built-in timers, digital displays and remote controls are included. Some of them feature touchpad controls, and a handful even automatically change the airflow direction to disperse cool air efficiently around the room. Consider these efficiency and performance features when shopping.

Capability to direct airflow

Usually air conditioner units will feature louvers that allow you to adjust the airflow horizontally or vertically; however, most of them are better at aiming airflow in one direction versus another. With your room or house layout in mind, you can choose a model that will bring the airflow where you want it.

You'll Find the Excellent Features of Portable Air Conditioners in this Video

Major Components of Room Air Conditioner
Major Components of Room Air Conditioner

Controls

Some air conditioner units are easier to use than others. Easy to use models feature large, well-spaced buttons, clear labels, touchpads with prominent LED displays, and digital readouts of temperature. On the other hand, controls that are badly designed are irritating to use. Buttons with raised symbols allow you to decipher them in a dark room without having to turn on the light. Digital readouts of temperature give you more accurate information than “cooler” and “warmer” settings alone.

Efficiency aids

If you purchase an air conditioning unit with a timer, this will allow you to turn it off when you aren’t home or set it to turn on right before you get home. Energy-saver features disable the fan if the compressor is off.

Dehumidifying mode

This feature is handy on spring and fall days that are cool but still humid.

Exhaust or fresh-air intake setting

These settings provide ventilation without cooling for cooler days.

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