What Size and Type of Air Conditioner is Best?

Serving Families Throughout Palm Springs
HVAC unit on a home's exterior wall

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Establishing the correct size of air conditioner for your home might seem like a fruitless task, but it actually has a major impact on your comfort level and the amount of money you spend. Air conditioners are not sized as small, medium, and large but instead in measurements of BTU’s. British Thermal Units are used to determine the cooling capacity of air conditioners and will be one of the main numbers to look for when shopping for AC units. But how many BTU’s does your air conditioner need to have? There is a common equation used to determine this number. It takes about 25 BTU’s to cool one square foot of space. Therefore, take the square footage of your home and multiply by 25, and that is the appropriate size air conditioner you need. For example: let’s say your home is 1,200 sq ft. 1,200 X 25 = 30,000. You need a 30,000 BTU air conditioner.

Choosing the right size AC is kind of like Goldy Locks and the Three Bears. You don’t want one that is too big or too small; you want one that is just right. If your air conditioner is too small, it will run continuously to try and keep the house cool, which will not only run up your electricity bill but will also cause your AC to burn out and break prematurely. On the contrary, having an air conditioner that is too big will cause it to continuously turn on and off and will prevent it from removing the humidity from the room, leaving you with a cold and clammy home. An accurately sized air conditioner will provide a comfortable temperature and humidity level.

Energy Efficient Air Conditioner

We all know that Mr. Krabs and dads around the world are the defenders and protectors of the thermostat. One degree in either direction will set off the alarms and rants about who pays the electricity bill. As we get older, we realize they may have been right all along.

Air conditioners require a lot of energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, especially older units. But with newer technology, our air conditioners are more energy-efficient than ever. When you’re shopping for a new AC, look for units with a good SEER or EER rating.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a number that indicates the AC’s energy efficiency. Similar to asking your friend what kind of gas mileage their car gets, you should also be asking what the SEER rating is on your air conditioner. You might also see this number listed as EER, which stands for Energy Efficient Ratio. The difference between these two is that SEER is based on the unit’s energy efficiency when the outside temperature ranges from 65°-104°F and EER is based on the unit’s efficiency when the outside temperature is 95°F. The acronyms themselves aren’t as important as the numbers they represent; the higher the number, the more energy-efficient your air conditioner will be.

Types of Air Conditioners

There are numerous styles of air conditioners, and while each one provides its own list of pros and cons, the deciding factor will depend on your needs. If you’re looking to cool your entire house, just one room, or be able to move your unit from place to place, there is an AC out there to fit your preference.

Window Air Conditioner

Window AC’s are one of the most common styles, and with new technology, they’re energy efficiency ratings have improved significantly. The benefit to window air conditioners is that they are universal; you can find them in most stores, and they are relatively inexpensive compared to other styles. Additionally, these units are not permanent as they are simply mounted into your window and can be removed if you move or want to put it in another room. The downside to window air conditioners is that they do take up a significant portion of your window and interfere with blinds or drapes. These units are also not likely to cool your entire home and are better suited for one room.

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable AC’s provide the advantage of having one cooling unit that you can move from room to room wherever you need it most. This convenience is made possible by being lightweight or having wheels, so moving it isn’t a hassle. Another benefit of getting a portable air conditioner is that there’s no installation required; all that’s needed is an exit for the exhaust hose that pumps the hot air outside of the home. However, because the entire unit is inside, the noise level increases, and the water extracted from the air collects in a water tank that has to be emptied regularly.

Through-The-Wall Air Conditioners

Wall AC’s are pretty much a permanent version of a window AC. With these types of units, you don’t lose any window space, and because it is installed and sealed into the wall, there are no drafts. Certain types of wall air conditioners are also labeled at PTAC’s, which stands for Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners, meaning these units provide heating and cooling! Many people enjoy these styles of AC not only because of their dual functionality but also because they are more conspicuous than other units. The drawbacks to these types of air conditioners are that they require professional installation since a hole needs to be cut into the wall. Additionally, deciding where to install the unit can be tricky because it needs to be located on an external wall.

Central Air Conditioner

Central AC’s are among the most favorable types of air conditioners because the unit is located outside and pumps cold air through a duct system to every room in the home. They offer localized control with thermostats for each room so that the temperature can be adjusted to individual preference. The downside is that these types of air conditioners are the most expensive to purchase and install. However, their longevity and quality make them a sound investment for many home and business owners.

Local Air Conditioning Service

Since 1954, Desert Air Conditioning Inc. has provided Palm Springs residents and those in the surrounding areas with the heating and cooling services they need. From maintenance to repairs and replacements, we do it all with the necessary skill and experience to keep your system running efficiently. Call Desert Air Conditioning Inc. today!