Do Window Air Conditioners Work?

Most likely, many of us are considering window air conditioners as we slowly approach summer and remember the 2021 heat dome.

Window air conditioners have since grown in popularity – they’re a quicker, easier, and more affordable solution to sweaty summer nights than installing central air.

However, the question remains, do window air conditioning units work?

In fact, you’re probably asking yourself a lot of questions about whether to buy a window air conditioner for summer. These may include:

How much power do window air conditioners use?

What are the different types of air conditioning units and which is better:

– Portable air conditioning units

– Window air conditioning units

–  Central air conditioning

– Mini split air conditioning unit

Which air conditioner is best for me – in terms of budget, size, and overall efficiency?

In this blog post, we’ll provide answers to these and other related questions about home air conditioners.
How Much Power Do Window Air Conditioners Use?

Central air conditioning may not be an option for many homeowners – it’s an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Instead, homeowners are increasingly focusing on window air conditioning units.

Before you take the plunge and spend money on an air conditioning unit, it’s important to get answers to these two questions:

1. How much electricity does a window air conditioner use?

2. Can my circuit breaker handle AC equipment?

Electricity Demand

When you compare central air conditioners to run for the same length of time, central air conditioning systems use two-thirds more electricity than window air conditioners.

However, with multiple window air conditioning units running – which may be necessary to cool different rooms in a house or apartment – electricity usage costs can add up quickly.

In short, window air conditioners are best suited for smaller places like single rooms or apartments. However, if you need to cool multiple rooms in a larger home at the same time, central air conditioning may be more cost-effective in the long run.

Circuit Breaker Requirements

Before you spend your hard-earned cash, you’ll also want to check that your home’s electrical system is capable of running any type of air conditioner. Running the AC is not like boiling a kettle or even running a washer/dryer at the same time.

Your typical window air conditioner unit may require more power than most small appliances, so you’ll want to check that your home’s wiring and electrical panel are up to the task.

For reference:

– You can run a 15 amp window air conditioner on 115 volts from a regular electrical outlet.

– However, larger AC appliances that require greater amperage and up to 220 volts will require dedicated outlets, which may require an electrician, especially if you need to upgrade the circuit board.

In other words, before buying or installing a window air conditioner, it’s best to have a trusted electrician check to see if your home can handle it.

You may also want to consider the pros and cons of all cooling options before investing money in AC. Below, we provide an overview to help you make your choice.


Pros and Cons of Different Air Conditioning Units

Advantages of Window Air Conditioning Units

Cost Effective: Window air conditioners are much less expensive to purchase and operate than other air conditioning equipment. They cost a fraction of the cost of installing and running central air conditioning.

Space-saving: Window air conditioning units are usually unobtrusive and out of the way. Placed against a window, they’re not as obtrusive as portable devices and don’t take up actual living space.

Energy Efficient: They are generally more efficient and provide more cooling capacity than any other AC option. Larger rooms require more BTUs to cool. These air conditioners also only air condition the room in which they are located. In terms of energy efficiency, that means you can have one in the bedroom, one in the main room, etc., but to save energy, you only need to run the one that’s in the room you’re in at any given moment.

Disadvantages of Window Air Conditioners

No Access to Windows: While being tucked into a window means it doesn’t take up any living space, it does limit access to the window itself.

Limited Cooling Capacity: These AC units work well for cooling a single room, but if you want to cool the whole house, you’ll have to buy one for each room. Multi-window AC units also increase your energy usage and costs, negating some of the above advantages. Central AC units circulate the air better, so with window air conditioners, you can experience hot spots, cold spots, and just-right spots.

Filtration Issues: While window air conditioners are getting better at filtering air, they can’t hold a candle to central air conditioners. This can have some ramifications for those with allergies or asthma.

Advantages of Portable Air Conditioning Units

Portability: The most obvious selling point of a portable air conditioner is its portability. Wherever you go to need cooling, it will go there.

Window Access: The portable air conditioner will not block your window access.

Cost-effective: Portable air conditioning units are also extremely cost-effective in terms of the purchase cost and installation – as they don’t require anything–and running them. They don’t require nearly as much power as any other AC equipment option.

Portable Air Conditioning Unit Disadvantages

Aesthetics: Portable air conditioning units can be bulky and annoying if you have limited space. They can also be noisy — more so than any other AC system option.

Energy Concerns: Another downside to portable air conditioners is their energy rating. Not all systems meet the minimum energy requirements and those that do tend to cost more.

Condensation: Newer, more expensive models of portable air conditioners use exhausts to eliminate condensation problems. Many more reasonably priced options continue to use the drip pan, however, the drip pan tends to fill up quickly and must be emptied by hand on a regular basis.

Central Air Conditioning Expert

Whole Home Cooling: You can’t beat a central air conditioning unit for cooling your entire home quickly, quietly, and efficiently.

Even Temperature Circulation: Unlike window air conditioners, which have you dealing with hot and cold spots in the room in which they are installed, central air conditioners efficiently and evenly circulate the air in every room in your home.

Superior Filtration: If you have allergies or asthma, central air conditioners won’t aggravate these problems because they’re designed to do a good job of air filtration while cooling your home.

Disadvantages of Central Air Conditioning

Cost: There’s no denying that central air conditioning is by far the most expensive of all air conditioning equipment — to buy, install, operate, and repair. In fact, if your central air conditioner does break down, in many cases you can buy one, two, or even three new window air conditioning units for the price of an average central air conditioner repair.

Energy Efficiency: As mentioned earlier, central air conditioning units use two-thirds more energy. However, this may be negated when you consider that you may need three, four, or even five or more window air conditioning units to cool all the rooms in your home, and none of them will be as effective as a single central air conditioner. Get the job done efficiently.

Mini Split Air Conditioning Unit

Finally, another option you might consider when it comes to cooling your home is a ductless air conditioner, also known as a mini-split air conditioning unit.

This option seems to combine some of the best advantages of the other units and negate some of the bigger disadvantages. Call it the mighty middle ground, the all-cooling big brother of central air conditioning, and the space and economizer of its sister window air conditioning units.

As the well-known second child, the mini split air conditioner is:

– Cheaper than central air, but more expensive than other air conditioning units.

– Cooling is not as powerful as a central air conditioner but is able to cool a much larger area than a window unit.

– Noisier than central air, but quieter than window units.

– More energy efficient than central air conditioners, but not as good as single window air conditioners.

While mini-split units require professional installation, the installation process is less involved and less costly than central air conditioning systems.

Best of all, you have a variety of options when it comes to installing air conditioning equipment, all of which are designed to keep you cool in some way. Only you can answer questions like: how many rooms you need to cool and how often, what is your budget, how important is energy efficiency to you, how your long-term living situation relates to your current home, and more.

These answers can help you choose between window, portable, central, or mini-split air conditioning systems. If you have decided to buy an air conditioner, please contact us.

ComforPlanet is a professional custom air conditioner manufacturer.

Our products are suitable for many industries, including HVAC, electrical smart small appliances, etc. ComforPlanet is committed to providing you with safe, high-quality, long-lasting HVAC and cost-effective products so that everyone in the world can breathe clean and comfortable indoor air

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