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How to Choose and Work with Window Air Conditioners.

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Hey you guys....I thought I'd share this post because we are in summer and with that comes the need to want to cool off in some way. We live in a two bedroom apartment and we are installing AC's in our rooms which didn't have them before. We have been living here for about two years now. Trust me I have no idea how we survived the last two summers but I am here to help you answer some questions that came up for us and I am sure a lot of people are wondering about as well. Questions such as, how do I know which one to buy, will it be enough for my room size? So let's go...

There are several types of Air Conditioners: central air conditioner, portable air conditioner, smart air conditioner, window air conditioner and so much more...but I will be talking about window air conditioners.

Window conditioners are great in cooling a single room and can help in a case where you don't want to use central air to cool an entire house. They come with different features and size, and both of this matter a lot.

Window Air Conditioner Sizing

The sizing of your window air conditioner is so important. We found out the hard way because the first time we bought one for our apartment living room for $100, we thought it was a steal only to find out that the air conditioner was too small for our living room and only blew in one direction so hopefully you all won't go through that.

When finding out your room size, make sure you compare it to the BTU of the air conditioner also known as British thermal unit. The one I told you about was a 5000 BTU for a 674 sq ft. space wonder it didn't work for us. See below for the correct BTU settings which I got from Lowes:

  • 50 to 350 square feet: 5,000 to 8,000 BTU

  • 350 to 550 square feet: 8,000 to 12,000 BTU

  • 550 to 1,050 square feet: 12,000 to 18,500 BTU

  • 1,050 to 1,600 square feet: 18,500 to 25,000 BTU

Also consider any drafts that need to be sealed and any open concept spaces you have when considering the BTU of the AC unit and the size of your room. If your room is opened up into the kitchen, then consider increasing your BTU capacity by 4000 BTUs.

Features of Window Air Conditioners

Consider these features when shopping for the right air conditioning unit:

  1. Air Direction Control - the air directional louvers direct the flow of air throughout your space. This is good to have depending on how large your space is.

  2. Programmable timer - allows you to control how long you want the ac unit set for which can help with energy consumption.

  3. Thermostat - allows you to set the temperature of the cooling unit. Even better if the thermostat has a reading of both the internal temperature of the room and the desired temperature setting.

  4. Proximity to a grounded outlet - this one is more a feature of the room than the window ac unit. Make sure your window is close to an outlet with the proper electrical voltage. Otherwise you have to get an extension cord suitable for your window AC unit based on the voltage capacity. For example, I found out our 5000 BTU AC unit uses 10 amps of electricity so the correct extension gauge and voltage capacity is needed to avoid burnout. You can find these in your local hardware store like Home Depot and Lowes

  5. Energy Star Rating - This label on your appliance means that your air conditioner will run at the most energy efficient level and save you a lot of money on your monthly bill.

  6. Noiseless feature - You know the importance of this feature. It makes a huge difference when you turn on your cooling unit and you can watch your favorite tv show or carry on a conversation in the room without interference of background noise.

  7. Remote Control - This is helpful to control your AC unit without having to get up each time especially if you are in bed.

I hope that this has served as a small guide for you before you purchase a window AC unit. What are some other features you would love to have that I didn't mention? I would love to hear from you as well as I am also learning.


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