The benefits of having a properly selected and installed air conditioner are increased comfort levels, temperature control, reduction in humidity, noise reduction (as opposed to window or floor fans), and energy efficiency–which reduces energy costs to the household.
When considering the type of air conditioning used in the home, size matters.The square footage of each room needs to be determined as well as whether the home is in a primarily shaded area or gets a lot of direct sunlight. The number of people that are using various rooms is important because the more people that are in a room the greater the potential for higher ambient temperatures.
Cost is an important consideration when choosing the right unit. If the unit has an Energy Star rating from the Environmental Protection Agency, it will use less energy to operate and therefore be more cost effective.
There are many available choices for cooling units. Window units are cost-effective and self-contained. They will fit most standard windows with minimal adjustment. Their disadvantage is that they are noisier than other types of units and will usually only cool a single room. Portable units have either a single or a dual hose that filters air from the outside to cool the room. Not as efficient as window units, portable air conditioners would be suitable for those living spaces that may not have an available window to house a larger unit. Wall units require professional installation but provide more cooling than the traditional window or floor appliance.
The most expensive option for cooling the home is the central air conditioning unit. Because these units lower the humidity in the home, the temperature can be set higher while the room is still comfortably cool. This provides for a reduction in monthly energy costs.
There are four points that a homeowner should consider when selecting an air conditioner:
What is the allowable budget?
What is the appropriate unit size for the square footage of living space?
What type of cooling unit is preferred?
Is the unit energy efficient?
Once these questions are considered, the homeowner can make the best choice and live in comfort for years to come.