Considering a Window AC Unit? Read This First!

window AC

If you’re beginning to feel the heat of summer and starting to sweat, you might be weighing your options for cooling systems: central air, heat pump, ductless AC, window AC unit…Choosing a cooling system for your home is an important decision. It should be seen as an investment in your comfort. However, if you’re seriously considering installing a window AC unit, read this first!

Why NOT to Install a Window AC Unit 

A window AC might seem like the cheap, simple solution. But, it’s not the most efficient, the most cost-effective long term, nor the best cooling solution. 

They’re not efficient.

Window ACs are generally much less energy-efficient than central air conditioning or ductless mini-split systems. This means you’re going to pay more on your electricity bills.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) Rating 

The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. 

  • Window AC units typically have a SEER rating between 8-13 SEER.
  • Central air conditioners typically have ratings between 13-25 SEER.
  • Heat pumps and ductless mini-split systems can reach even higher SEER ratings, often exceeding 20 SEER.

Cooling Capacity

Window ACs have limited cooling capacity as they’re designed for single rooms, requiring multiple units for whole-house cooling. This leads to higher energy consumption per cooled square footage.

Air Leakage

Window ACs create air leaks around the installation point, losing cool air and forcing the unit to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, increasing energy usage.

They can’t cool large areas.

Window ACs are best suited for single rooms, not entire homes. Cooling a large space requires multiple units, increasing energy consumption and cost. Their limited capacity also means that the room with the AC unit will be much cooler than others, causing temperature imbalances throughout your home.

They’re very loud.

Since all the components are housed within a single unit that stays in your house, window air conditioners make a lot of noise, especially high-powered units. This is very disruptive to your sleep and other daily activities.

They pose a security risk.

The unit takes up the entire window, blocking natural light, fresh air ventilation, and potentially obstructing fire escape routes. Plus, window AC units create an opening in your window, potentially compromising home security. On top of that, there’s always the risk they can fall out and cause damage or injury.

Explore Better Cooling Solutions with Our HVAC Experts

While you think you might be saving and choosing the cheaper option, it’s going to cost you more to run your window AC in the long run. There are 3 better alternatives to consider:

  1. Central Air Conditioning: While a more significant upfront investment, central AC provides efficient cooling for your entire home with better temperature control.
  2. Heat Pumps: These offer efficient heating and cooling for your entire home, often exceeding the efficiency of central air conditioning systems. They can also provide dehumidification benefits.
  3. Ductless: These offer targeted cooling/heating for specific areas, are energy-efficient, and have a sleeker design compared to window units.

Remember, efficiency translates to lower energy bills. While window ACs might have a lower upfront cost, their inefficiency can lead to significantly higher running costs compared to other options.

We’ll help you find the best solution to keep your home cool – efficiently and effectively!

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Team Harding has been Ottawa’s leading home comfort specialist since 1994. We are a family-owned and operated local business and all of our installers and technicians are fully licensed.

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