Choosing The Best Air Conditioner Window Unit

How a Portable Window AC Unit Works

A portable window AC unit is operated by a thermostat mounted onto the return air vent. Some thermostats have a remote control, while others require manual operation. When the AC unit needs to turn on to cool the room down, the thermostat will signal the compressor to start. Once the desired temperature has been achieved, a signal will be sent for the compressor to be shut off.

After the system has been triggered to start, the evaporator blower will draw air in from the room through its air filter and the cooling coil. Once conditioning is completed, the air is dehumidified and then pushed into the room to reduce the indoor temperature and overall humidity levels.

Understanding a Heat Pump

In temperate climates, a heat pump window-mounted air conditioner is a good option for your cooling needs. These systems are equipped with a reversing valve which will allow them to reverse the flow and provide heat to your home in the winter and cool it down in the summer. When heating is selected, the refrigerant flow will be reversed, having the evaporator area act as the condenser and the condenser as the evaporator.

The Importance of an Evaporator Coil

An evaporator coil provides a vital component of the cooling process in an air conditioning unit. The coils are designed to capture the heat from the air in the home and transfer it to the outdoors via the condenser coil.

Unit Sizing

One of the first things to consider when finding the right room air conditioner for your home is the sizing you will need to cool down your room or space properly. All window air conditioners will be rated using British thermal units, with most running from 5000 BTU to 12000 BTU. The BTU is a measure of the energy the system produces as well as its cooling capacity. You can determine the size you need based on the room’s square footage.

  • Small Rooms: For 150 square feet or less, a 6000 BTU 115v window air conditioner will be ample.
  • Medium Rooms: For a 250 to 350 sq. ft. area, an 8000 BTU window air conditioner will be ideal.
  • Large Rooms: 550 to 850 square feet of area will need a 10000 BTU to 14000 BTU AC unit.

If you are unsure of the size that will work best for your space, you can check out the EPA’s Energy Star website to calculate the ideal BTU.

How Long Does a Window AC Unit Last?

While central air conditioning systems have a longevity of 15 to 20 years when properly maintained, window air conditioner units are designed to last around 8 to 10 years, with average run time and proper maintenance.

How to Optimize Your Portable AC Unit 

While window A/C units will not need as much maintenance as a traditional central air system, keeping them well cared for can allow them to last longer and work more efficiently. Some of the best ways to optimize a portable AC unit include:

  • Filter Changes: If you use your window unit regularly throughout the season, you should clean the washable filter at least once a month by soaking it in warm, soapy water, removing any debris off it, drying it, and putting it back into your unit. Regular filter cleaning will ensure proper airflow, filtration of the air, and more significant energy savings.
  • Cleaning and Fix Fins: There are two primary coils in your window AC unit. One is located in the front and the other in the back. These coils have delicate aluminum fins in front of them for protection. The fins need to be cared for to ensure proper performance. To clean them, remove the unit from the window sill and spray the fins with water and just a few drops of detergent. You can use a soft bristle brush to help loosen debris and rinse them when you’re done. Before putting the unit back in the window, ensure there are no bent fins. If there are, you can use a fin comb to fix them.
  • Empty the Drain Pain: On your unit, underneath the coils is a drain pan that will collect condensation dripping off the machine. You must regularly check the pan and remove the dirty water when needed. When the pan is removed, you should check the drain hole and ensure it is not blocked with debris.

How Long Can a Window AC Unit Run For?

A window air conditioning unit can run as often as you need to enjoy a cool room. Yet, if you keep it running all the time, it could wear out more quickly, dehumidify the air less efficiently, and cycle on and off frequently. Running a window unit daily can also lead to significantly higher energy bills.

You can lower your energy bills and preserve the longevity of your window air conditioner by utilizing temperature settings and allowing it to shut off and turn on when needed to maintain the proper temperature.

You can maximize efficiency by considering a smart window air conditioner, with wi-fi connectivity and features such as eco modes which will adjust the fan speed to keep the temperature where you want it to be.

When is The Best Time to Run a Portable AC to Keep a House Cool?

It is best to run your air conditioning units a couple of hours before you need your room to be filled with cool air. This time frame may need to be adjusted based on the room size. You can also maximize your unit cooling power by running it earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon. Since the temperature is cooler during these times, your system will be more effective and energy efficient.

Find the Best Window Air Conditioners at Superior Home Supplies

If you are looking for top-rated window or portable air conditioner options, Superior Home Supplies has the brands and features you want. Contact Superior Home Supplies today to help with any of your home improvement and HVAC needs, or to find the ideal air conditioning option for your home’s comfort.

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