Mini window air conditioners are fast gaining popularity in the US and elsewhere. Surprisingly, the cost of purchasing and installing these systems is not the only factor contributing to this trend. Approximately $1 out of every $8 spent on utilities by the average American household goes toward heating and cooling. While extremely effective and energy-efficient in many different settings, traditional central air conditioning is making way for these smaller, less costly units for varying reasons.
Valley Comfort Heating and Air maintains that chief among these reasons, is a low running cost, less maintenance, and the fact that these systems are surprisingly versatile, allowing homeowners better control over their monthly utility bills. Simultaneously, minimizing their impact on the environment is reduced, by only heating or cooling the areas in use.
While central air conditioning systems work with a central cooling unit distributing cool or warm air to the whole building through a system of ducts installed inside the roof, window air conditioning units are better suited to cooling or warming one room at a time. Compared to a central system, the relatively low purchase and installation cost of these units makes them an attractive option for many homeowners, especially for newer properties with no central air conditioning system installed.
According to a recent study on the correct installation of window air conditioners, it was found that, if the correctly installed, the energy efficiency of these systems are very good. Still, not all air conditioning units are equal, and there are some things you should look out for when it comes time to decide which system is the one for you.
Energy Star Rating
Energy efficiency is one of the top concerns for consumers when deciding on an air conditioning system. The whole point is to save money on utilities while maintaining a comfortable temperature in the house throughout the year. Mini window air conditioning units generally offer above-average energy efficiency, and promise an Energy Star Rating guaranteed increased energy efficiency of 10% over other units. This equates to a significant saving on utility expenditure in the long run.
Technology has, and continues to, expand its range of features. Some features to look out for are a programmable timer, which automatically heats or cools a room at certain predetermined times. Air direction control allows you to concentrate the fan on one specific area, and remote operation allows control of the heating or cooling from wherever you are, so you can switch on the heat a half hour before getting home, for instance.
A remote control lets you adjust the unit from across the room, while a thermostat controls the temperature. Washable filters are important, as replacing filters every time they get dirty can become quite costly.
The Benefits of Mini Window Air Conditioners
The benefits of small window air conditioning systems are numerous. One of the main benefits is the obvious impact they are likely to make on your utility bill. There are more considerations to consider, though.
The obvious benefits are that these systems are affordable, averaging about $250 to $350 for a good quality unit from a reputable manufacturer.
The days of large, bulky window air conditioners are long gone. Today’s units are small and quite discreet, and they tend to punch way above weight when it comes to size. Add to that relatively easy, straightforward installation, and you have a winner.
Supplemental Heating and Cooling
Small window air conditioning units can work quite well when integrated with an established central air conditioning system. Leaving your central heating at the same setting and using your small window air conditioning unit for supplemental heating or cooling can ensure significant savings on your utility bill. Your central air conditioning system will work more effectively for a longer period, which brings us to another benefit.
Multi-Functional and Versatile
These systems are multi-functional, meaning you can use them for cooling and heating. Another major benefit is its versatility. These units can be effectively used for the heating and cooling of bedrooms, offices or a small business, a dorm room, or an apartment, and the non-permanent installation means you can take it with you when you move.
They come in a variety of different sizes for different applications. For an average bedroom of between 100 and 300 square foot, look for a unit with a capacity of 5 000 to 6 500 BTU. For a room ranging from 250 to 400 square foot, a unit with 7 000 to 8 500 BTU will suffice, and for larger rooms up to 650 foot, look for a unit with 9 800 to 12 500 BTU.
Mini Window Air Conditioners, depending on your application, could be the ideal solution to keeping your house cool in summer and warm in winter while saving you some good money on utility bills in the long run. To find out if this solution will work for your house, it is advisable to speak to one of our local HVAC technicians for professional and practical advice.