Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners are used for cooling a room or a small apartment. In effect, they are completely self-contained air conditioning systems. Different from central air conditioning, these units fit into the 1ower third to half of a window and operate on electricity by plugging the cord into an electrical outlet.
Window Air Conditioner Options
Most units use a standard 115-volt circuit, but larger models may require more power. As technology improves, window air conditioners are becoming smaller and smaller. There is more variety as well. Originally, window air conditioners were placed into the window horizontally. Now, vertical units are available as well.
Some window air conditioners are installed through the wall and don't even need a window. In addition to cooling the air on a hot humid summer day, window air conditioners filter air coming into the room from outside. Today's models are also much quieter than older models.
Energy Efficient Window Air Conditioners
When buying a window air conditioner, consider purchasing an energy efficient model, which:
- Uses less energy
- Saves you money
- Protects the environment.
Be sure to look for the energy efficient rating and check for the yellow energy guide label that is affixed to all models.
Selecting the Right Size Window Air Conditioner
It is crucial to determine the proper size of the window air conditioning unit necessary to cool the space. One that is too large may cool the room quickly, but will be inefficient at lowering humidity levels, wasting energy and money. A window air conditioner that is too small will be forced to work overtime to cool the room, and ends up being just as inefficient as an oversized unit.
In order to determine the correct size, begin by calculating the square footage of the area you want to cool. It may be necessary to make certain adjustments to the calculation, depending on factors such as installing the unit in:
- A room that receives full sun
- A room that is shady most of the day
- The kitchen, where it may be hotter due to cooking and meal preparation.
Window Air Conditioner Maintenance
Another consideration when buying a window air conditioner is maintenance. Choose a unit with a removable filter for easy cleaning. A clean filter means cleaner air and a more efficient unit. Many models also have temperature control settings and built in timers that can be used to increase energy efficiency as well.