When it comes to choosing an air conditioner (A/C), bigger does not necessarily mean better! You need to size your air conditioner appropriately; not too big or too small. A unit that is too small will not be able to effectively remove the heat from the room, while a unit that is too large will cycle on and off too often, causing unnecessary wear and tear on the unit, eventually causing it to burn out. Another potential problem associated with too large a unit is that if it cools the room too quickly, it can cause the machine to ice up and not perform properly.
Here’s a quick guide for choosing the right unit for your room:
Room Size(sq. ft.) Machine Size (BTU)
250- 300 7,000
450- 500 12,000
Most room air conditioners are mounted in a window. Larger BTU models are built into a sleeve for mounting through the wall. Some A/C units can be installed either in the window or through the wall. Unfortunately, mounting sleeves are not universal, so replacing a through-the-wall unit usually means significant carpentry and finishing work. If you purchase a through-the-wall A/C, Page’s can make recommendations for local installers.
Portable Air Conditioners are another option that is becoming increasingly popular. Portable units only block a small section of a window, and they can be moved from room to room. There is also flexibility in the direction of air flow, since the unit is not limited to facing one wall, like a window or wall unit. Portable A/Cs do take up floor space, and the compressor noise is inside the room instead of outside the house.
Each year we receive calls from customers looking for an A/C that does not need to be vented, but no such appliance exists. Air conditioners remove heat and humidity from the room, thereby cooling the air inside. Without a vent, the hot, humid air would merely recirculate, and not change the room’s temperature.
When purchasing a portable A/C, look for a dual-vent system. Dual-vent units bring fresh air into the machine to cool the compressor. Single-vent units use cooled air from the room to cool the compressor, then that air is pushed out the window through the vent hose. This means you are paying to cool air that ends up outside.
Whether you select a window, wall, or portable air conditioner to cool your home this year, be sure to choose the right size for the space.