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The Best Window Air Conditioner

Updated on May 29, 2012
You don't have to stay in the shade all day to stay cool this summer! Photo Source: Shanna11
You don't have to stay in the shade all day to stay cool this summer! Photo Source: Shanna11

Central cooling can be expensive, especially if you live in an apartment or just need to cool a small room. However, getting a window air conditioner can also be expensive or seem daunting. Many companies offer complicated, costly systems that are noisy, unattractive or offer more features than you really need.

This Hub will guide you through the steps needed to select and purchase the perfect window air conditioner for your home. Consider your home and budget before you go shopping, and do not shop online, as tempting as it may seem.

Seeing the actual dimensions of a window air conditioner are important and means you won't spend as much time sweltering the heat while you send your air conditioner back and order another.

Simple Window Air Conditioners

Cooling down a room quickly and inexpensively is easy. There are two types of window air conditioners: Simple, and, well, not simple! Simple air conditioners are thin, no more than five inches thick and have two simple rotary fans next to each other in the middle.The question you need to ask yourself is this:

"Are my rooms oppressively hot all day long, or does the temperature fluctuate so that is cool sometimes and hot others?"

If your room is hot all the time, you will want to consider a more complex window air conditioner. If your room is sometimes hot, you will want to consider a window fan or a simple air conditioner

Two accordion-like pieces of plastic extend from either end of the fans to the sides of the window, so measuring your window and the space outside is not necessary. The fan will sit snugly between the base of the window and the bottom of the open window. Generally, these types of simple air conditioners can be plugged into the wall and have three different speed settings. They can also be turned out and used to vent hot air out of your house.

Window Air Conditioners

While window fans will run about 20 to 50 dollars, window air conditioners will be more expensive, costing upwards of around 150 dollars.

The two leading brands of window air conditioners are Kenmore and Frigidaire. Frigidaire tends to be slightly less expensive, but in terms of quality both are very good. However, do not be taken in by advertising campaigns that tell you they also heat rooms as well as cool them. Unless you are searching for a heater and cooler, you do not need to pay more money for both options when you only need one.

Energy Star is a third option, but I have never had a good experience with an Energy Star window air conditioner. Kenmore and Frigidaire have never failed me.

Before you go out and purchase either of these, you will need to consider BTU or the British Thermal Unit, which measures the amount of heat or energy needed to lower or raise the temperature of an amount of space. Kenmore and Frigidaire air conditioners come in various BTU 'sizes', which accounts for much of the variation in costs. The larger the BTU needed to cool a room, the more expensive the air conditioner will be.

So how do you know how many BTU's your air conditioner should be able to handle in order to keep your house nice and cool? I referred to this website when I was in the market for a window air conditioner.

From there, you can decide which brand you want to purchase. I've included a side bar of window air conditioners here so you can see what they look like, but again, I recommend you purchase yours directly from a store, so you can be sure you have the proper warranty, return and repair policies.


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    • profile image

      Tim 2 years ago

      You make it sound like Energy Star is a brand!

    • Shanna11 profile image

      Shanna 4 years ago from Utah

      No, it's not retarded. It is neither slow, nor mentally handicapped. I suggest you purchase a dictionary or use google so that you can adequately express yourself with at least some vestige of appropriateness.

      Now, if you want to say that it is a "dumb" article, or a "poorly written" article or even "stupid" I would happily accept any of those and most likely agree with you.

      Anyway, thanks for your deep and carefully explained comment. I can really utilize your ideas and thoughts to improve this article.

    • profile image

      me 4 years ago

      retarded article