''This buying guide is about windowConditioners'>click here. ''
If you're looking for a break from the summer heat, an air conditioner is wonderfully effective. Before you invest, you should know what you're buying. This guide will give you the basics of window-units, and help you sift through the jargon and the junk so you can find just what you're looking for.
* '''Efficiency rating (EER)''' The legal minimum is 10. Higher EER ratings equate to lower long term costs but a higher initial purchase price.
* '''BTU '''(British Thermal Units) reviews/index.html'>ConsumerSearch.com recommends:
Buying an A/C Unit
Dealing with the summer heat is a lot easier if you have air conditioning. If you're searching for an A/C online, you're probably looking for a window unit
. (Central air conditioning needs to be professionally installed.) Here are a few tips to find the air conditioner that best suits your needs!
BTU, What Does It Mean?
* Air conditioner cooling capacity is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units).
* An air conditioner's price is closely correlated with its BTU rating.
* Bigger is not necessarily better - you don't want to buy an A/C that is too powerful for the space you are cooling.
** It will be more expensive than necessary, as well as too cold!
** An overpowerful A/C will also make a room feel uncomfortably clammy.
How Much BTU Do I Need?
* From SoYouWanna.com
, here are some tips on how many BTUs you need:
** Find the square footage of the room you are trying to cool and multiply by 35. This will give you the ballpark BTUs you should look for.
** Shady room? Decrease that number by 10%.
** Sunny room? Increase that number by 10%.
** Add 4,000 BTUs if you are putting the A/C in the kitchen.
** If more than two people will be in the room regularly, add 600 BTUs per person.
* You might also want to consult this handy page from Energy Star
Lend Me Your EERs
* EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. A higher number indicates a more efficient unit.
* A higher EER is better (costs less to operate) but units w/ high EER are generally more expensive.
* All air conditioners made after 2000 have an EER of at least 9.7.
* An air conditioner that receives an Energy Star
rating has an EER of at least 10.7.
* An increase in EER by one point can save you roughly 10% on your energy bill. Use this estimate when gauging whether a more expensive model will actually save you money in the long run.
Window Size and Installation
* Before you start shopping for an A/C unit, measure your window two or three times for accuracy.
* Make sure that the air conditioner you want will fit in your window.
* Even the lightest
air conditioner might weigh more than 40 pounds, and a large unit might be close to 100. Keep this weight in mind when you make plans to install it. (You'll probably want to invite a friend or family member to help you.)
* Models that come with a slide a framework is installed in the window first, and the heavier air conditioning unit slides in easily.
** This installation takes a bit longer than the conventional air conditioner, however.
* Throughwall air conditioners require you to cut a hole in your wall; this is more difficult and is, of course, a permanent installation.
* Some models run Major Manufacturers
* LG Electronics