Climate Works Blog

How To Choose the Right Air Conditioner

Air conditioners are a wonderful invention. They help keep us cool in the winter, and they literally can save lives. During a major heat wave, the temperature on the upper floors of an apartment building can get very high. That is bad news for anyone who is elderly, young or not in the best of health. With an air conditioner, it is possible to keep the temperature at a comfortable level.

For as little as $200, or as much as $6,000, an air conditioner can be installed in a home to make everything much more manageable, especially at night in an area with a great deal of humidity.

The question is, how do you choose the right air conditioner? Here are some tips:

  • First of all, air conditioners are made to cool a room but if the room is too large, they won’t be able to do it if the air conditioner’s BTU per hour is too low. The BTU rating will typically range between 5,000 and 25,000, with units that pump out 12,000 being priced around $300. A 15,000 BTU unit will be able to cool down a room that is about 900 square feet. If you are curious about what size air conditioner you need, you can find several Air Conditioner Calculator tools online.
  • Energy efficiency is incredibly important with an air conditioner because an air conditioner uses an immense amount of energy to cool down a room. Most air conditioners will have an Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is the cooling capacity of the air conditioner, divided by the electrical power that is used to run it. The higher that number is, the better it is. If a unit has a rating above 10, it is very energy efficient. If the rating is above 12, it is top-of-the-line. Of course, the higher the rating, the more money you will pay.
  • You can’t just put an air conditioner in a room and plug it in. You need to have an outside source of air for it. This can mean putting it in a window or having the air conditioner connect to a window through tubing. Most retailers can provide you with a through-the-wall installation, or you can choose to install it yourself. Know how to do it before you attempt to do it.
  • Look for an Energy Star air conditioner. An air conditioner that has an Energy Star logo on it will typically use 15 per cent less energy than comparable units.
  • Chances are, the air conditioner will be in your bedroom. If it is, then you may want to get one that is relatively quiet. Air conditioners are going to make noise, but the higher end ones doe have a quieter setting you can set it to. That is something to consider if you don’t like noise while you sleep. That being said, chances are you will adapt to it quickly and then find you cannot fall asleep without the sound of an air conditioner.
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