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Window AC unit: How to make the best choice according to your needs

Window AC unit: How to make the best choice according to your needs

As matter of fact, size matters when you’re buying a window AC unit because a too small AC equipment will struggle to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. On the other hand, a window AC unit that is too big will cool the room too quickly without removing enough humidity from the air and the result is a cold and sticky room.


Make the right choice and you not only will feel just right but you’ll save money too. That’s why we recommend know the measurements of the room you wish to install the window AC equipment.


To know which is the best choice in air conditioning, it’s important to:

  • Gauge how accurately the AC reaches the set temperature.
  • Check if whether each model can recover after a simulated brownout.
  • How intuitive the controls are.
  • How quiet or noise is the window AC unit while running on low and high speed.


Rules for keeping cool with a window AC unit

Usually, window AC units have a cooling capacity ranging from 5,000 to 12,500 British Thermal Units (BTU). As a general rule, an AC equipment needs 20 BTU for each square foot of living space.


In addition, other factors must be kept in mind, such as the ceiling height and the size of your windows and doorways, which might call for more cooling power.


You also must consider the room size and the material from which it is made. To measure your room, you must multiply the length of the room by the width and add together the size of rooms that aren’t separated by doors because the air conditioner will need to cool both spaces.



We recommend you to make adjustments for the following circumstances:

  • If the room is heavily shaded, reduce capacity by 10%.
  • If the room is very sunny, increase capacity by 10%.
  • If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 BTU for each additional person.
  • If the unit is used in a kitchen, increase capacity by 4,000 BTU.


What window AC unit we recommend?

Best window AC units for small rooms (100 to 300 Square Feet)

For a small bedroom, home office, or guest room, look for a window AC unit with a capacity of 5,000 to 6,500 BTU. You’ll want one with good scores for comfort and noise.


Best window AC units for mid-sized rooms (250 to 400 Square Feet)

To cool a bigger or busier room, you’ll want to step up to a midsized window AC unit rated at 7,000 to 8,500 BTU but if it’s for a bedroom, make sure it’s a silent AC equipment.


Best AC units for large rooms (350 to 650 Square Feet)

For a living room or family room, you’ll want a large air conditioner, 9,800 to 12,500 BTU, especially if you have an open floor plan. Remember that hallways must be considered in these cases.


Tips for making you save money when using a window AC unit

Tougher federal energy standards for window AC units make newer models cheaper because are energy savers. Look for a unit with an Energy Star label and an energy-efficiency ratio of 10 or above. The higher the EER, the lower your operating costs. All the models in CR’s air-conditioner ratings have an EER of 10 or above.


Doing frequent maintenance to your window AC unit can also help you save energy and money. Look for models with a filter that’s easy to remove for regular cleaning (remember: a dirty filter causes an air conditioner to work harder).


Many window AC units have a timer that you can set to cool the room before you get home rather than running it while you’re away and some of the newer connected window AC units have apps that enable you to adjust settings remotely from your smartphone.