As the summer grows more humid, more and more of us are running for our window air conditioners to keep our homes cool. But a lot of us have our units inside our bedrooms, which begs the question: do they have to be in the window?
The answer is almost always yes.
The reason is that your window is usually the only way to get air into your home, one of the main purposes of a window AC unit is to keep the temperature in your home lower than the outside temperature. This is why you need a window unit (a wall unit would do the opposite).
Advantages and disadvantages of a window air conditioner
The advantages of having your air conditioner in your window are many, but the top one for many homeowners is comfort.
No Ice chunks for many homeowners
Ice chunks are a bigger deal than cold air.
After getting home from a hot day, people want to get out of the heat, and that means turning on their air conditioner and letting it blow on them. But after a while, ice chunks from inside the unit, making it hard for it to cool.
If you have a non-slip adhesive backing on the walls of your window, you can simply move the ice chunks away.
Less screen scratches
A lot of window air conditioners come with a screen on the back of it. This is a major complaint for many people.
But in most cases you won’t need a window air conditioner. Many homes have very large windows, such as in a basement suite, that will allow the AC unit to be turned off when the house is not being used.
So you might think you are going to want to get one in your bedroom, right? In order to do that you will need to move the unit outside. It is an investment, but one you might have to make.
The second problem with using a window AC unit is that you might not need one, or you might need it turned off.
For example, in a basement suite you might have no need for a window unit, but you might in a second bedroom, and in the basement suite that will be a tight fit.
Where to position your window air conditioner
If your windows face south, you should be using your window unit in the afternoon when the temperature in the house can still reach the mid-70s. (Remember to keep a fan blowing on you to stay cool!) If you live in an area where the nights are cooler, it’s best to put your AC unit in the living room, where the temperature can still dip to the upper 60s or lower 70s.
If you live in a cooler climate, be sure to put your air conditioner in the highest possible position, such as at least six feet above your windows to effectively blow out the air from your entire house.
Before you even think about putting a window AC in your house, you’ll need to check to make sure it’s compatible with your home and all of your windows.