Air conditioning units come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Consequently, choosing the right one for your home can be challenging. But sweltering beneath the summer heat is both uncomfortable and dangerous.
With the right information and advice, you can make short work of choosing the right AC unit. This air conditioning guide can help you pick the best budget-friendly unit for your home. Staying cool has never been easier!
How to Choose the Best Air Conditioning Units
Choosing the best air conditioning units for your home can be challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with AC units. For example, do you know where you’ll install your new unit or how you’ll get it working?
Generally, you’ll need to consider several crucial aspects before purchasing an air conditioner, including:
- Ease of Installation
- BTU Rating
- Customer Reviews
This AC buying guide can help you figure out which types, sizes, and features to look for when shopping for an air conditioner. This way, you’ll be sure to choose an option that fits your needs, home, and budget:
There are four major types of air conditioning units. Of course, the best type for your home depends on several factors. Still, it might help to first address the four types of AC units.
The four types are:
- Wall Units
- Window Units
- Central AC Units
- Portable AC Units
Both wall and window units tend to be less powerful than central air conditioners. But portable AC units might be the least powerful of the bunch.
That said, some homes have few windows and share nearly all their walls with neighbors. So if you’re living in a small apartment or rented space, a portable air conditioner could be the best option.
But most will benefit from choosing a wall, window, or central unit instead. These produce more powerful cooling effects, ensuring that you remain comfortable throughout the hot summertime weather.
Still, wall units tend to work best in homes that already have wall units. That’s because new wall units require new homes, necessitating owners to remove drywall to make room for their new air conditioners.
Window units can be an excellent alternative for individuals living in tiny spaces, though they often cool a single room at a time. In addition, central air conditioners are often built into a home’s structure.
Now that you’re familiar with the four main types of air conditioning units, we can address size. The size of your air conditioner often influences how powerful it is.
Central AC units typically feature outdoor condenser boxes that are fantastically heavy and large. But these units can cool entire homes and apartments.
Alternatively, portable air conditioning units tend only to cool a single room at a time. The same is true of many wall and window models. But their space consumption is incredibly variable.
Wall AC units won’t consume too much floor space, and the same is true of window options. They’re designed to be as out of the way as possible.
But portable units can be massive devices that take up entire corners of your home. When choosing the right air conditioner for your home, you’ll need to consider how much space you have to devote to your new unit.
Ease of Installation
Installing a new HVAC unit isn’t easy. That’s why most central air conditioning systems are built into homes. If your home lacks central air, you’d have to rip apart your drywall and ceilings to install a new system.
It’s also frustrating to install a wall air conditioner in a home that’s never had one before. That’s because homeowners will need to make a space in their wall for the unit before installation. That can mean a lot of work.
Window and portable AC units tend to be the easiest in terms of installation. In most cases, you won’t need professional assistance to get these devices up and running. But those in multi-floor homes might want a little help.
The last thing you want is to drop your brand new air conditioner from several flights up while attempting to secure it in your window. Not only will you lose your investment, but you could accidentally injure someone.
As such, most people investing in a new air conditioner will need to consider ease of installation and installation services. They’ll also need to take a moment to think about how powerful your new unit might be.
How much space can a single air conditioner cool? That often depends on its BTU rating. BTU is an acronym that stands for British Thermal Unit, and it partially determines how many square feet an AC unit can cool.
Typically, you want to choose an air conditioner that offers 20 BTU per square foot of space. If you’re cooling a 200sqft bedroom, you’ll need an AC unit with 4,000 BTU or more. Still, most units produce at least 5,000 BTU.
Air conditioner prices range from about $100 to well over $6,000. Central units tend to be the priciest. Portable and window models might be the most affordable options.
To ensure maximum affordability, you’ll need to consider the initial cost of your unit, installation service fees, and annual maintenance costs. It’s also worthwhile to choose an energy-efficient model to save money on utilities.
Finally, you’ll want to check out previous customer reviews to see what users think about your chosen air conditioning unit. If the majority of reviews are favorable, there’s a good chance that you’ve picked a solid option.
However, if most reviews have several complaints, and these issues seem to crop up often, you may want to move on. There are plenty of high-quality air conditioning units that are worth your time and money.
If your preferred unit has tons of negative reviews, let it go quickly so that you can spend more time checking out worthwhile units. Speaking of, let’s explore some of the best air conditioning systems available!
Best Wall Air Conditioner Systems
Wall air conditioner systems install directly into the wall! As a result, they typically don’t require extra ductwork, though they can be challenging to install.
That’s why it’s crucial to contact professional installation technicians for assistance. That said, these AC systems work by pulling air from the exterior of your home, cooling it, and releasing it inside.
Wall air conditioners work best when placed on a wall that faces the outdoors. If your home is squashed closely against other homes or buildings, or you live in an apartment building, this type might not be right for you.
However, if you’re sure that a through-the-wall air conditioner is the best option for your home and comfort, you can shorten your shopping time by choosing one of these hardworking models:
Keystone Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner
Is saving energy your top priority? If so, you might want to check out the Keystone Wall AC unit. It’s one of the few wall air conditioners to have earned Energy Star certification!
While this unit might not be the most attractive option (housed in a slightly gray plastic casing), it is convenient. Users can control the temperature using the unit’s keypad or remote control.
Even better, this unit offers 12,000 BTU of airflow. That’s one of the most competitive and powerful ratings of any wall unit!
Emerson Quiet Kool Smart Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner
The Emerson Quiet Kool might be one of the most modern wall air conditioners available. It features a brightly lit display screen, a power-saving ‘Eco’ mode, and a slim profile.
Additionally, this through-the-wall air conditioner is compatible with many smart home products and can be linked to your home’s WiFi. This allows you to remotely operate your unit via your voice, phone, or tablet.
With about 10,000 BTU, this model can cool almost 500sqft. This makes it a great choice for living rooms, dining rooms, and other open living areas throughout the home.
Best Window AC Units
Window AC units sit inside your window, helping to keep your room or home cool. These air conditioners tend to work best in small homes or spaces that aren’t ideal for central or wall units.
But choosing the right window air conditioner can be frustrating if you’re unsure what you’re looking for. After all, windows can be different sizes, and some units may require additional support to remain in place.
Still, we’ve researched to find the best possible options for your windows, no matter their size or your cooling needs. So without further ado, let’s explore some of the best picks for window AC units:
GE Mechanical Window Air Conditioner
GE is one of the most beloved brands for home appliances. They’re known for creating long-lasting products that are backed by competitive warranties. This window air conditioner is no exception.
With ten unique temperature settings and several fan modes, you’re bound to feel the rush of cooling comfort with this GE window air conditioner. This option also comes with an EZ Mount Installation Kit.
You might be able to install this model without professional assistance, saving you a small installation fee along the way. And the one-year warranty is a little peace of mind to keep you confident throughout the year.
hOmeLabs Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
The hOmeLabs Window AC unit is designed to fit larger windows, but its cooling capacity tops out at about 150sqft. As such, it might not keep your whole home cool, but it can tackle a single room.
Unlike simpler options, this unit has seven cooling settings and four fan options. This ensures that you’re comfortable, no matter how hot it is outside. Besides, this model comes with everything you need for installation.
Frigidaire Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
This small window air conditioner is one of the most energy-efficient options available. It’s also an ideal option for smaller apartments, homes, and windows. With 5,000 BTU, it can cool up to 150sqft of living space.
It contains a washable air filter to help you save money on replacement filters and includes a remote control for convenient operation. While it might not be the most powerful unit, it is a high-quality model with plenty to offer.
Best Air Conditioner Brands for Central Air Systems
Frigidaire, GE, and LG are some of the top brands for through-the-wall and window AC units. But what about central air conditioning brands?
If you’re hoping to update your current HVAC unit, you’ll want to consider the top brands for these types of air conditioners. Fortunately, you won’t have to look far.
The most beloved brands for central air conditioners include:
Let’s briefly review these brands to discover how they differ. That way, you can choose the brand that best meets your precise budget and preferences:
This brand produces a wide range of products, from home improvement tools to top-notch AC units. Many Goodman air conditioners are affordable and compatible with new smart home products.
But one of the most alluring aspects of Goodman products is the warranties that support this brand. If you notice any issues with your new central air conditioner, Goodman’s customer service team will help you through it.
When your budget is one of your top priorities, you may choose a Rheem air conditioner. The units that this brand produces are notable for their rugged designs and affordable prices.
You won’t find many Rheem central air units with hi-tech features or smart home compatibility. But you may be surprised to see just how many Rheem units are priced within your budget, making them a great value choice.
You may or may not have heard of Trane air conditioners. They’re one of the still-growing brands but notable for their energy-efficient units.
Consequently, you could save a bundle on utility payments by choosing a Trane air conditioner. However, if you choose one of the higher-end Trane units, you may pay more than you would for a Goodman AC unit.
But then again, this initial extra cost will likely translate to years of savings. As such, choosing a Trane AC unit might be one of the smartest long-term options.
Should I Seek AC Installation Help?
Installing an air conditioning unit without assistance can be challenging, even for the most experienced DIY-ers. If you’re installing a new wall or central air conditioner, you’ll likely need assistance.
Fortunately, high-quality AC Repair and Installation services are only a click or a phone call away! So instead of sweatily trying to get your AC installed and functioning, why not relax and let the professionals handle it?
Choose the Best Air Conditioning Units
Keeping cool during the summer doesn’t have to be a struggle. All you need is a hardworking air conditioner! But there are dozens (possibly hundreds) of air conditioning units from which to choose.
The right air conditioner for your home depends on your home type and size. If space and finances are limited, a compact through-the-wall or window AC might be the best and most affordable choice.
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