Benefits of installing a window air conditioner
Window air conditioner units are an excellent choice for any home, no matter how big or small. These models are versatile because they’re removable, which means you can install them at the beginning of summer, and then remove them once the hot temperatures are over. If you’re looking for some extra cooling in a specific room, such as a bedroom, there are small units that would work great! And if you need cooling for a much bigger space, there are window air conditioners that can help you there, as well.
Features to consider while choosing a window air conditioner
There are many things to consider when purchasing a window air conditioner, which can make the decision even more difficult. But below, we’ll break down some of the more important features to weigh when looking at the different options available. Features such as BTUs, coverage area, fan/cool speeds, if it can also function as a heater, dimensions, warranty, and even extra features can all make a difference when you’re looking for the right model to fit your needs.
BTUs, or British Thermal Unit, is the standard measurement when it comes to temperature, especially for heating and cooling appliances like space heaters or window air conditioners. Specifically, BTUs are the amount of energy needed to raise one pound of water by one degree. Generally, the more BTUs, the more powerful the appliance.
But more BTUs aren’t necessarily better. If you’ve got an air conditioner that has a lot of BTUs, but you’re working on cooling a small space, well, the machine will cool your space quickly, then cycle off to maintain the temperature, and then have to cycle on again shortly after. Too much cycling on and off can overwork the compressor of your air conditioner and shorten the lifespan of your air conditioner.
So, pick a unit that best matches the space you’re looking to cool. For a large space, check out the 25,000 cooling BTUs of the Koldfront WAC25001W, and for something more middle of the road, try the 15,000 BTUs of our Editor’s Choice, the Frigidaire 15,000 BTU Window-Mounted Median Air Conditioner.
One of the most important features to consider, if not the most important one, when purchasing a window air conditioner is the coverage area. This will tell you how big or how small a space the air conditioner can handle. Too much space for your air conditioner, and it won’t be effective. Too much machine for your space, and you’ll be stuck in the cycling on and off circle that could shorten the life of your machine.
For the air conditioner designed to tackle the largest space, check out the Koldfront WAC25001W, which can handle up to 1,500 square feet, making it an excellent choice for a living room. And for the smallest unit, our Budget Pick, the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E, is miniature and compact to handle 150 square feet.
Most window air conditioners have multiple fan and cooling speeds. This is great for when you’re stuck in a particular heatwave and need to crank up the cooling effects, or if you want to lower the cooling rate when you’re sleeping, perhaps, to limit the noise factor. Some air conditioners even have energy-saving modes and sleep modes, giving you greater choices in your perfect comfort level. For a window air conditioner with the most robust options of fan and cool speeds, check out the LG LW1019IVSM, which has four different fan speeds, letting you customize the temperatures to fit your needs.
If there’s a heat function
Some window air conditioners also come with a heating function, making it a dual appliance. This can be really handy in a window unit, because it means you don’t have to worry about removing the air conditioner from your window at the end of each season. Instead, you can leave it in place and use it to heat your rooms once the colder weather sets in. Though it is important to note that sometimes air conditioners with included heaters require more electricity to function and, therefore, often require a 230V outlet to plug it in. For a midsize window air conditioner with an optional heater, check out the Koldfront WAC12001W.
Dimensions are an important consideration to check out when shopping for a window AC unit. Many windows in homes are a standard size, but not all of them, especially in older homes. If you purchase an appliance that can’t fit in your window, then it’s functionally useless.
So, make sure you measure your windows more than once and then pick a window air conditioner that will fit in your allowed space. Many smaller units will come with spacers, too, meaning they can stretch to fit in larger spaces. But if a unit is too big, there’s no way to make it smaller.
We all hope that we never have to use a warranty for any of our appliances or machines. But sometimes accidents happen and it’s no one’s fault. Or sometimes there’s an issue during the shipping of your air conditioner, and it arrives too banged up to function. That’s why many companies offer warranties, to specifically cover things that are not the owner’s fault, or to fix any problems that may occur. If you’re someone who’s looking for a window air conditioner with the best warranty, then check out the 2-year limited warranties of the tiny Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E and the large Koldfront WAC25001W.
And finally, many window air conditioners come with additional features, to really let you customize your cooling and heating efforts. Most units nowadays come with remote controls so you can control the temperature from anywhere in the room, though the manual dial-controlled Frigidaire FFRA0511R1E does not have a remote control available.
And almost all of the units can function as a dehumidifier as well, working to help you remove humidity and moisture from the air. Take a look at what the variety of machines offer in regard to additional features and figure out which ones are most important to you and your home. If you’re looking for a lot of bells and whistles, then look no further than the LG LW1019IVSM which has Wi-Fi capabilities and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
How to maintain your window air conditioner
Maintaining your window air conditioner is an important step in making sure your unit has a long lifespan. Regularly cleaning the machine can go a long way to keeping it running at peak performance. If it has a reusable filter, make sure you regularly remove it and clean it according to the instructions, and if it requires you to empty water from a storage location due to dehumidifying regularly empty that as well. And when removing your window air conditioner and storing it for the winter months make sure that you keep it safe and dry, so it will be ready to use again once the warm weather returns.