How to keep cool with the right air conditioner

May 27, 2015

Air conditioners make those unbearably hot days a little easier. Here's some advice for finding the best air conditioning unit that fits your home and budget.

How to keep cool with the right air conditioner

Look at different types of air conditioners

Air conditioners range from portable to permanent fixtures, each designed to cool rooms of different sizes. That's why you'll need to know the types that are available.

Portable air conditioner
A portable AC unit is compact and lightweight so you can place it where it’s needed most. Just take this small air conditioner out of the box, plug it in and you’re ready to go.

  • Most portable models have the same features and options as other AC units and can effectively cool roughly 400 square feet of space.

Window-mounted air conditioner
A window air conditioner is a semi-permanent cooling solution that’s placed in a window for cooling in rooms between 300 and 1600 square feet.

  • They’re relatively easy to install and can provide more powerful cooling than their portable counterparts.

Built-in air conditioner
These permanent air conditioners are installed into a wall of your home.

  • These models are usually more efficient than window-mounted models but come with similar features and power.

Look for features that you’ll use

Air conditioners come with a number of features that can cool rooms faster and more efficiently. Of course, the greater the number of features, the more expensive the air conditioner tends to be. Select only features you know you'll use and appreciate.

Energy efficiency
It’s no secret that air conditioners use a lot of power, but newer energy-efficient models can substantially cut down your cooling costs.

  • Look for models that boast a third-party energy efficiency rating.

Timers and automatic shut-offs
Models with timers and automatic shut-offs help keep rooms cool only when you’re in them, saving you money from unnecessary cooling.

  • Set the timer for just before you arrive home so you can walk into a space that’s just the right temperature.

Dehumidifier setting
Some air conditioners can double as dehumidifiers, warming the air up while removing unwanted moisture.

Look for models with large, easy-to-use buttons and a digital display that clearly provides the information you need.

Airflow control
Most AC units have louvres to let you direct the cooled air to where it’s needed most.

Many air conditioners can also filter out dust and unwanted bacteria in the air, which can help you breathe more easily.

  • If you have allergies or asthma, a filter can potentially help to cut down on the effects of pollen and dust.

Think about your space

The right air conditioner will perfectly fit the size of room it’s cooling, so ensure you know the room's dimensions before you go shopping.

  • If it’s too small, the machine won’t adequately cool the space.
  • If it's too big, it will constantly turn on and off and waste power.

The first step to buying an air conditioner is measuring out the room where it’s going. Then, refer to a BTU calculator to figure out the right unit for the intended space.

The proper air conditioning unit can not only cool your home, but will also dehumidify and purify the air. And while it may seem tempting to simply buy a large, powerful unit, your best bet is to first measure your space and assess your needs. This will help you determine the right kind of air conditioner to buy so you can enjoy a cool and comfortable summer.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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