Window Air Conditioner


Buy Window Air Conditioner

Here's how to select the right air conditioning window unit for whichever area you may need it for:

Most air conditioner packaging displays an average of how many square feet it will cool. It will also provide suggestions on the proper installation. AC units can use a lot of electricity, so select one that's closest to your needs by looking at the EER rating (or Energy Efficiency Ratio). The higher the EER number, the more efficient the unit is.

Make certain that you have enough attic insulation over the area being covered and factor the amount of windows that allow direct sun into the area before choosing your AC unit. If the unit it too large for the room it will continually cycle on and off which will prevent it from properly dehumidifying the room.. An efficient air conditioner can save you lots of money on your electric bill.

  • Just like furnaces and water heaters, air conditioners have an energy efficiency rating—EER for short. Buy an air conditioner with an EER of at least 10. Although air conditioners with EERs higher than 10 usually cost more, you will recapture this cost by using less electricity.
  • It's important to buy the correct size air conditioner (in terms of how much cooling it produces, not its dimensions). If the air conditioner is too large, it won't operate efficiently and it will use more energy and cost you more money. Ask the salesperson for help in choosing the correct size air conditioner.
  • Window air conditioners have filters. Remove and clean the filter every month to help save money and keep the air in your home cleaner.
  • Make sure the "fresh air" vent on the air conditioner is closed so you're not cooling outside air.
  • If possible, put the air conditioner in a window that faces north or is shaded. Keeping the air conditioner out of direct sunlight improves its efficiency. Remove and store the air conditioner during the winter rather than keeping it in the window.

How to Fix a Window Air Conditioner

When a window air conditioner cools poorly, it doesn't necessarily mean you're in for an expensive trip to the repair shop. It could be the machine just needs a good cleaning and some tender care.
  1. Remove the front grill. Pry it off with a putty knife if it's held by clips, or use a screwdriver if it is screwed in place.  
  2. Unplug the air conditioner, slide it out of the window cabinet and set it on a sturdy table. You may need a helper to move the air conditioner if it's heavy.  
  3. Locate the mesh filter. It covers the radiator-like fins on the machine's evaporator coils.  
  4. Remove the filter, and wash it and the grill in a mixture of warm, soapy water and bleach--this will remove any mold. Shake out the excess water and set the filter and grill in your dish drain to dry.  
  5. Vacuum the evaporator coils thoroughly, using a vacuum with brush attachment. Remove any stubborn dirt with a plastic scrub brush.  
  6. Inspect the fins on the coils. If any fins are bent or flattened, buy a fin comb from an appliance store and run the comb up or down the fins to straighten them.  
  7. Turn the air conditioner around so the back is facing you. You will see a second set of coils--the machine's condenser coils.  
  8. Vacuum these coils thoroughly, using the vacuum and brush attachment. Remove any stubborn dirt with a plastic scrub brush.
  9. Inspect the fins on the condenser coils, and if any are bent, use the fin comb to straighten them.  
  10. Remove any dirt or lint from inside the unit, using the vacuum and crevice attachment. Make sure you clean the fan blades, too, using the vacuum and brush attachment.  
  11. Put the air conditioner back into the window cabinet.  
  12. Reinstall the filter and front grill, and plug in the machine
If you have a small area to cool in the summer - say, one or two rooms - a room air conditioner may be a more economical choice than a central air conditioning unit. It will cost less initially and it will cost less to operate in the long run.

Most room air conditioners sit in a window where they can exhaust warm air to the outside. Window installations can be drafty, however, so at the end of the warm weather season some people remove the unit from the window and store it for the winter. Room air conditioners can also be built into the wall for a more permanent installation.

Keep in mind that, when choosing a room air conditioner, size is important. A unit that is too small will run continually without cooling the room effectively. On the other hand, if you buy a unit that's too large for the space you're cooling, it actually will be less effective than one that's the correct size. Bigger isn't necessarily better.

Air conditioners work by removing both heat and humidity. Humidity condenses from the air when it passes over the air conditioner's cooling coils. So a unit that is too big will cool the room so quickly that it won't have the opportunity to remove as much humidity from the air as it should. As a result, the unit will keep turning off and on and the room will feel damp, clammy and less comfortable. A properly sized unit, on the other hand, will remove humidity effectively as it cools.