There are many air conditioner options, and you want to find the right one for your space. You need one that is powerful enough to handle the area that needs to be cooled, and you want it to have the features you need to save money and energy.
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What to Look For In An Air Conditioner
There are many factors to consider when finding the right conditioner. You have to think about your budget, what style your room can use, how powerful the unit is, and what kind of features you are looking for in an air conditioner.
Decide On Your Budget
When it comes to air conditioners, the price tag on the unit itself is only part of the price. Every air conditioner has to be installed, which can add to its overall price. You also have to consider the maintenance and running costs for the unit.
If you are handy, you can save money on installation. But remember that your time can cost you money as well, so consider that when you are making your plan. Once you weigh all these things, you can accurately set a reasonable budget.
Pick Your Style
The style of air conditioner you pick will depend on what space you have available and how much work you want to do to install the unit. You can use any unit to cool your room, but some may require modifications to your space to make them useful.
The styles you can pick from are window air conditioners, portable units, central air conditioners, and a packaged terminal air conditioner or PTAC unit. Central air is the most labor-intensive to install, while the easiest are portable-type units.
Each of these styles has its strengths and weaknesses. Central air conditioners cost more upfront, but you save money when running them. Portable air conditioners are easy to move, but they tend to be the weakest units on the list. You will want to make sure you are comfortable with the features and the installation of your air conditioner unit style.
The Truth About BTUs
Air conditioners use BTUs (British thermal units) to measure power. The BTUs of a device indicates how well it will cool a room.
The BTUs you will need to cool off a room are:
- 5,000 to 8,000 BTUs for rooms up to 350 square feet
- 8,000 to 12,000 BTUs for rooms 350-550 square feet
- 12,000 to 18,500 BTUs for rooms 550-1,050 square feet
- 18,500+ BTUs for rooms over 1,050 square feet
If you don’t match your BTUs to the room size, your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool it. You will find that your room isn’t staying cool, or you may burn out your air conditioner faster. Worse, you’ll be consuming more energy than ever.
A small unit that cannot cover your room will only cost you more money in the long run, leading to overall dissatisfaction with your unit. You end up saving nothing when you buy a device that is not powerful enough.
The Noise Factor
Did you know that an air conditioner can be as loud as 60 decibels? That can cause a significant disturbance when it turns on and starts to work. You can find air conditioners that produce less sound.
Some units now advertise their decibel rating. You can use this information to find units that sound better or quieter. You will have less background noise that can annoy you and everyone who visits your house.
Quiet air conditioner options can be more expensive. It can be a great feature, but it would require a bigger budget.
Saving energy not only helps the environment but also saves you money when operating the system. Look for energy star units—these are certified air conditioners that meet specific government standards for saving energy.
One of the best parts of these units is that they may give you more information about how much it costs to run the unit every year. Even though this is just an estimate, it can help you understand what to expect from your energy bill.
Finding The Right Features
You can get a plethora of different features in your air conditioner. Some units are very simple; you can turn them on and off. Some of these cheaper units don’t require that you set up anything and cool until you shut them off.
Higher quality units will allow you to set up how long the air conditioner runs, set up temperatures, and even filter the air. Some units also come with remote controls, which make it easier to change the settings.
Many of these features help you stay more comfortable when your air conditioner is running. You can choose which of these options work best for you and fit into your budget.
Refurbished Air Conditioners Can Save You Money
You can also decide to get a refurbished air conditioner rather than a new unit. If you find a trustworthy used air conditioner dealer, you can sometimes save a lot of money on extra features and power that can work better for you.
If you are looking at refurbished units, you need to look for specific information. You will want to look at the reputation of the company refurbishing these units. You also want to make sure you get a refurbished unit with a warranty.
Even though there are a ton of air conditioner options, it is pretty easy to narrow them down to units that will work the best for you.
Once you think about how much work you’re willing to do to install the unit, how powerful a device you need, and what features you need in a unit, it will be easy to pick the right one.
When you find the right air conditioner, you will be happy with how it makes your home feel. It will make you cool in every sense of the word.
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