How to Choose the Best Single Room Air Conditioner

Choosing the best single-room air conditioner for your Phoenix home may seem like a simple matter: Drive to a big-box home improvement store, find a low price, buy and install the unit. However, single-room air conditioners come in all quality levels and energy efficiencies. Choosing badly could cost you – not just now, but for years to come.

What are BTUs & Why Do They Matter?

They seem outdated, but British thermal units (BTUs) still rule as the yardstick of choice for measuring cooling power of portable air conditioners. You select your perfect window unit by matching BTU to room size. Starting at 5,000 BTUs for a 100-square-foot room, you add approximately 1,000 BTUs for every 100 square feet:

  • 100 to 150 sq. ft.: 5,000 BTUs
  • 150 to 250 sq. ft.: 6,000 BTUs
  • 250 to 300 sq. ft.: 7,000 BTUs
  • 400 to 450 sq. ft.:10,000 BTUs
  • 1,000 to 1,200 sq. ft.: 21,000 BTUs

Notice the larger the room, the greater the jumps in BTU sizing. This is because single-room air conditioners are not as efficient as a heat pump or central air conditioning at circulating air in a large room.

Different Types of Air Conditioning Units

Room-size air conditioners are no longer limited to something you shove in the window at the cost of a view. Consider these configurations:

ACE Home AZ - How to Choose the Right Single-Room Air Conditioner: Type of AC
  • Mini-split air conditioners
  • Through-wall systems
  • Portable air conditioners venting through a hose

The mini-split air conditioner is extremely popular and can cool a large area, but requires professional installation. Through-wall models require a carpenter’s expertise to create the hole, but avoid intruding on the view through your window.

Importance of Energy Efficiency

When considering air conditioning installation, Phoenix homeowners should shop for the highest energy efficiency ratio (EER) they can afford. This is the cooling capacity divided by the electrical power needed to run the unit. Getting a window air conditioner with an EER of 12 will save you a lot of money over the life of the unit compared to one with an EER of eight. To achieve higher EER, you will pay a little more. Pay attention to the bright yellow energy guide label on the store sample.

ACE Home AZ - How to Choose the Right Single-Room Air Conditioner: Energy Efficiency

If you plan to keep the single-room air conditioner for more than five or six years, get the highest EER you can afford. The extra you pay once will return to you for years to come in lower energy bills.

Installation and Service

While most single-room air conditioners can be installed by the homeowner, hiring a professional to get the job done can save you a lot of time and trouble. If you would like assistance, contact a professional Phoenix HVAC installation company today. A local, trusted company such as Ace Home Services can install your new air conditioner safely and explain its operation. Contact Ace Home Services today for details.

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