Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling

Central Air Conditioning or Window Air Conditioner

Many people look into installing air conditioning in their home every year. There are many options to consider when it comes time to make that decision. To help make that decision more clear, I will explore some of the positives and negatives of the two major options. Ductless Split A/C type units lately are also becoming more of a popular option. I will do another “Tips and Tricks” on that option. To include that in this one would just be more confusing. So for now we will just look at window air conditioners and central air conditioning.

Central air conditioning is usually the best way to go if you already have a central hot air heating system already installed in your house or building. The advantage that you have is that you already have the air handler or blower part already installed. The ductwork for the distribution of the air is also all ready in place. The ductwork may need some modification to make it work well for air conditioning, but the major part of it should be adequate. To use the existing furnace and ductwork an A/C coil will need to be installed at the furnace. An outdoor condenser unit will be installed outside and copper tubing will be used to connect the coil to the outdoor unit. Some electrical wiring will need to be done to power the outdoor unit. Low voltage wiring will also be needed to hookup the thermostat, the furnace, and the outdoor unit together so that they can talk to each other. Basically the thermostat will just tell the furnace to run the blower on high speed and the outdoor condenser to start up.
If there is no central hot air heating, then the installation of central air conditioning can be much more difficult. Many homes that do not have hot air heat also do not have the room to install ductwork. This would eliminate this possibility. If you are in this category you should get a professional to look at your situation to see if central air conditioning can be done. If it is the room available is to enough to do a good job and get large enough ductwork installed, then do not force the issue and go another option. Ductless split type air conditioning may be your best option.

A window air conditioner in my opinion is a last resort for air conditioning your house or building. There are many down sides to window air conditioning units. There are two good things that window air conditioners have going for them. They are very inexpensive when it comes to cost per BTU of cooling. They also install very quickly and easily. That is where the good part of them ends.

Window air conditioners are security risks. If a thief wants to get into your house, the thin sheet metal box that holds the unit in the window can easily be pulled apart to get in through the window. I have seen many units that are not even screwed fast. If the window air conditioner is just there, balancing in the window frame, it becomes very inviting for a unexpected guest. The window air conditioner is also very inefficient. These units use more power per BTU of cooling than any other type of air conditioner. If you are a light sleeper, than chances are you will not want one of these window shakers. Window air conditioners are one of the loudest forms of air conditioning.

The fan for these units is very loud when running. Then add the noise of the compressor and you have enough decibels to keep many people wide awake all night long. If you choose to use a window air conditioner, than you should also look for a place that it can be secured and placed in a room that you will not be sleeping in.


As you can tell by now, I am not a big fan of window air conditioners. They do have a place for some people. However, you do need to be aware of the problems that you may encounter with them. The low initial cost can be offset by the fact that they typically do not last as long as a central air conditioner.

Central air conditioning will last much longer, be quieter during operation, be more efficient, be more secure, but the initial cost will be higher. How much depends on each situation. When considering your options for air conditioning installation you need to get prices for everything and then decide what type of unit will work the best for you.


http://www.fixya.com/support/r3850183-condenser_coil_cleaning_condenser_coil

http://www.fixya.com/support/r3636751-air_conditioner_seer_seasonal_energy

http://www.fixya.com/support/r3636709-size_air_conditioner_need

http://www.fixya.com/support/r3633369-portable_air_conditioning_great_portable

http://www.fixya.com/support/r3623253-window_air_conditioners_clean_every_year

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