How do I choose an air conditioner?

Choosing the right air conditioner for your home requires that you understand vital information about your space (size and dimensions) and your cooling needs.

When the hot summer days start approaching, many people who have not previously had an air conditioning system may start considering investing in one to feel more comfortable in their indoor environments, where a cooling system can keep the temperature of air cooler than outside.

Choosing the right air conditioner for your home will help your household survive the unbearable humidity and temperatures when it is extremely hot outside. Knowing how to choose the right air conditioner for your home could be a lifesaver for you.

Choosing air conditioners

With the wide range of air conditioning units available in the market, it can be quite daunting to begin looking for the right air conditioning system for your home.

The different types of units all cool the temperatures of an indoor environment, but their varying designs and structures have been made to work differently and to be installed differently.

You should consider factors such as how big or small of a unit you need for your space, as this information is vital.

How do I choose an air conditioner?

Choosing an air conditioning system is not an easy task and often, the help of an HVAC professional will be necessary to guide you through the process of choosing wisely for your home or rooms.

The biggest factor to consider is your budget and finding a unit that works well for your indoor setup while still fitting in your budget. You would then need to determine the size of the air conditioner you need for your home.

This will be determined by the size of your space, how high the ceilings are, how much sunlight comes into the space, if it is near places with many heat-generating appliances, and the amount of people within the space.

Once you have an idea of your space and its dimensions, you can choose an air conditioner with the right BTU size and with the appropriate cooling capacity. Then look at your list of needs and re-evaluate.

Figure out if you mind the heavy installation of some types of units like central units and ductless mini-split systems, or if you are looking for units that do not require much adjustment to the building structure, such as window units and portable units.

Determine how much energy your unit may consume and decide if saving on energy costs is your priority, as there are energy-saving units, then determine what noise levels you can handle.

Make the choice

Once you have considered all of these factors, you will be in the right position to make the right decision for your needs. Amazon is a great place to find a variety of units at market prices that will fit your budget.

It is important to note that bigger units such as mini-split and central units are priced much higher. Window air conditioners are amongst the cheapest and through-the-wall units are priced slightly higher. Portable units can be affordable, depending on their size and brand.

AC types Description Amazon price
Tosot portable AC

Buy it on Amazon 
·   8 000 BTU for cooling rooms that are up to 300 square feet

·   3-in-1 air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier

·   Easy installation with exhaust hose

·   Capable of removing 2.3 pints (1.1 litres) of water per hour

Daikin ductless mini-split AC

Buy it on Amazon
·   9 000 BTU cooling capacity

·   Energy efficient with a 17 SEER rating

·   Inverter AC with heat pump system

LG window AC

Buy it on Amazon
·   12 000 BTU for cooling rooms that are up to 550 square feet

·   Energy efficiency ratio of 11.3 in cooling mode

·   11 200 BTU supplemental heat function for rooms that are up to 450 square feet

Frigidaire through the wall AC

Buy it on Amazon
·   Energy-star rated UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification

·   12 000 BTU for cooling rooms that are up to 550 square feet

·   Three fan speeds


Having the right plug type for your air conditioner

This is a factor that some people may take for granted, but it is actually one of the most important things to have checked to ensure that a new air conditioner will be connected to the correct power source.

Many units have a common 125V/15A three-prong plug that can be used in many homes, while larger models often have 125V/20V/250V/15A or higher plugs.

These require that you call an electrician to upgrade your circuitry, so that it can hold the power of larger units with bigger plugs.

How BTUs are measured from the year 2025

If you are planning to invest in an air conditioner in 2025 or later, you need to bear in mind that the air conditioners’ BTUs will no longer be rated according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) testing standards, but will, instead, be rated by the Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity (SACC), rating of BTUs per hour.

This means that the new ratings will show maximum BTUs to be lower than previous ratings by ASHRAE standards. This is according to the Department of Energy.

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