How to Buy a Room Air Conditioner

air-conditionersWhen the weather is hot and humid air conditioning is a necessity.  If you do not have central air conditioning or if you have a room that the central unit does not effectively cool, you may want to consider either a window air conditioner or a portable air conditioning unit.

Some things you need to consider when planning to buy an air conditioner are the size of  the room, where you plan to place or install the unit, what features are important to you and the electrical requirements for the unit.  Air conditioners should cool the room, filter the air and remove the moisture in the air. The cooling power of the air conditioner is measured in BTUs and the number of square feet you plan to cool will determine how much capacity you need.  If the unit is too small it will not effectively cool your room and if too large it is a waste.  Window air conditioners are generally more economical than central units when you consider the cost of the purchase and the cost for running the unit over the long term.  Window units are the more popular type room air conditioner.  These are easily installed in a window.  They should have support of some kind on the outside for reinforcement.  Be sure to measure the inside dimension of the window before purchasing your unit.  Window air conditioners come with various features such as fan speed which will let you adjust the air speed and possibly the louvers to adjust the direction of the air flow, a thermostat so you can set the level of cooling, some even have traps to keep bugs out while allowing the condensation to flow out.  You want to be sure the filter is in a place that makes changing it easy.

If you don’t want to use a window air conditioner or if you live someplace where they are not permitted you may want to consider the portable air conditioner.  These units can be rolled from room to room.  They require no permanent installation. Most have a window venting kit.  They come with a flexible hose that you attach to a window for exhausting the hot air.  Like the window unit you need to take into account the size of the area you need to cool and this will help determine the number of BTUs you want to purchase.

The portable air conditioners are not as efficient as the window unit and may not cool as well.  However, they are easy to set up and move and can be  used in any room.

Prices on both types of units will vary depending on the size and features you choose.  Be sure to check out any warranties and do you research before you make your purchase.