How Do I Select the Right Window AC Unit?

Jul 21, 2022

window ac unit in a window

What is the Cooling Capacity of a Window AC Unit?

Window air conditioners normally have a cooling capacity that ranges from 5,000 to 12,500 British Thermal Units (Btu/hr.). As a general rule, an air conditioner requires 20 Btu for each square foot of living space.

The Need for a Window Air Conditioner Unit

Now that we are well into the summer season, we are experiencing the hot and dry weather conditions that the Tri-Cities is known for. Maybe you are thinking of buying an air conditioner, but a unit that is more affordable than a central A/C system. Perhaps you have put off purchasing an A/C unit because of the cost. But now, after already experiencing some very warm weather, you’re thinking how important it is to be cool and comfortable in your home.

A window A/C unit could be the perfect solution for you, as it you will have cool air distributed in a specific room. This way you will be able to combat the heat without having to spend quite so much money. What’s more, a window air conditioner cools you off and assists you in managing your energy costs.

How Your Window AC Unit Functions

A window air conditioner conveniently cools a living space in your home. This type of air conditioning system is an easy-to-install alternative to a central air conditioning system that you may not need because you want to save money, or you live in a smaller home.

The majority of window A/C units have multiple operating modes. The cooling mode decreases the temperature and humidity of a room’s air, and then redistributes it with a fan.

There are certain models of room air conditioners that enable you to choose from several preset cooling levels to assists you in maintaining a climate that suits your needs. Other models allow you to set a desired temperature for the unit to maintain.

The A/C unit operates using a sensor, turning off when the air reaches the preset level. The window air conditioner starts cooling the air again when the actual temperature increases to above the specific setting.

If you want to save more money by reducing your energy usage, then you can opt to set your window A/C unit to fan-only. So, instead of cool, treated air, your window air conditioner distributes and filters the air in the room, similar to how a fan operates.

There are certain models of window air conditioning systems that come with a heating mode. Similar to the cooling function, you set the desired temperature, and the heating system cycles on and off to keep the preset temperature in a room.

How to Select the Perfect Window AC Unit for Your Home

Energy-Saving Requirements

Since October 26, 2015, all ENERGY STAR rated room air conditioners have been required to meet a new standard, ENERGY STAR 4.0, which establishes maximum power use at
10 percent less than older models that adhere to the 2014 guidelines.

A window air conditioner’s efficiency is measured by the energy efficiency ratio (EER). The EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity in Btus per hour to the power input – in watts. The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the window A/C unit will be. Every increase of 1.0 on the EER scale represents a 10 percent increase in energy efficiency.

As you are shopping around for window air conditioners, be sure to look for an EER of at least 12 and the ENERGY STAR label. When your window air conditioner system has an ENERGY STAR label, this means that specific product meets strict energy efficiency guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U. S. Department of Energy.

In order to figure out the efficiency of your room air conditioner unit, divide the watt rating into Btu output. A factor of 10 means your window air conditioner is an efficient unit, and the factor should not be less than 5.

As a general rule for determining the Btus required to cool a room, simply multiply the square feet of the room by 25. Then add 1,000 for every window and 400 for each occupant of the house.

When used to provide cool treated air for a specific room, window air conditioners are less expensive to run than central A/C units.

the benefit of a window ac unit

Proper Sizing for Window AC Unit

When searching for the right room air conditioner for your home, it is important to keep in mind that an undersized unit will probably not thoroughly cool a room. If you end up with a unit that is too big, it will not be able to extract enough humidity, which will leave the room feeling damp.

This is why it is important to figure out the square footage of your room. You do this by multiplying your floor’s length by its width. You then will want to compare your room size to the window A/C unit’s Btu rating. The Btu rating indicates the amount of heat an air conditioner can remove from a room. Look for a window air conditioner with a higher Btu rating to cool a larger room.

Room A/C units general have cooling capacities that vary from 5,500 Btu per hour to 14,000 Btu per hour.

Window Air Conditioning Features to Consider

An important part of the process when it comes to selecting the ideal window air conditioner for a room is determining the features you want in your unit.

Here is a list of the features that are most common in room air conditioners:

Electronic Controls: Electronic controls enable you to set a specific temperature for the window A/C unit to maintain. There are some models of window air conditioners that can gradually increase their cooling. What this does is keep the temperature mild and lessen the noise at night.

Smart Air Conditioners: Smart window A/C units are able to be controlled via your phone and connecting app.

Programmable Timer: A programmer timer allows you to set the A/C unit to turn on and off at specific times. This feature assists you in reducing energy usage.

Remote Control: A remote control lets you to modify settings and turn the window air conditioner on and off from across a room. Certain remotes also function as portable temperature sensors to keep a room evenly cooled. This activates the air conditioner when the air around the remote reaches a particular temperature.

Venting Options: Venting Options allow you to select between recirculating room air or drawing outside air into the room while funneling the room air to the outside. Your window air conditioner extracts the humidity from the air as it operates. You should look for a dehumidification rating that removes pints of moisture per hour to prevent mold and odors.

Filter Sensors: Filter sensors let you know when the air filter needs to be cleaned so your room air conditioner can provide better air quality. We recommend that you choose a model with a washable filter for easy cleaning.

Electronic Ionizers: Electronic ionizers remove impurities, such as pollen, from the air.

NOTE: There are certain models of window A/C units that are fitted with an extra-long cord that is helpful if your window air conditioner unit is not located close to a power outlet.

window ac unit by apollo heating and air

Look to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning for Expert Maintenance of Your HVAC

Look to the HVAC experts at Apollo to ensure your energy system is in excellent condition and operating at optimal efficiency so you can stay cool and comfortable this summer. Our experienced team of highly trained technicians will work with you and exceed your expectations during HVAC repairs and A/C unit replacements.

Apollo field technicians will work closely with you in deciding what HVAC system is the best, and tailor it to fit your unique needs and preferences! We are committed to delivering premium quality HVAC service, maintenance, products, and documentation in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and beyond!

Learn more by contacting Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning! Call us at (509) 396-COLD (2653).