Central Air Conditioners vs. Window Air Conditioners

When it comes to purchasing a new air conditioning unit, there are a lot of factors that you will want to consider before coming to a decision. These factors include the energy efficiency of the unit, the cost and the easiness of installation. While comparing various air conditioning units, you’re going to come across two common types – window air conditioners and central air conditioners.

The following information will help you determine which best suits your needs:

Central Air Conditioners vs. Window Air Conditioners: What’s the Difference?

Window air conditioners are very different than central air conditioner. A central air conditioner involves many more parts. Typically, there is a condenser unit that sits outside of the building, whether it’s in the yard or up on a roof. The condenser uses a set of pipes to run coolant into the air handler. Central air conditioners also make use of the duct system within the building in order to distribute cool air throughout individual rooms.

A window air conditioner is a single unit that contains no other parts. The unit has a condenser, evaporator, thermostat and fan already built in. The unit is designed to be wedged into a window frame and is most effectively used to cool single rooms.

Central Air Conditioners vs. Window Air Conditioners: What’s Cheaper?

The window air conditioner is by far the easier one to install since it doesn’t need to be connected to a duct system in order to disperse air. All you need to do is open up the window and fit the unit between the frame before shutting the window down onto the top of the unit. This is something that you can easily do on your own.

With a central air conditioner, you are going to need to hire an HVAC professional to have it properly installed. Central air conditioners will also require regular inspection and maintenance, neither of which are necessary with window air conditioners. These costs are all going to add up, making the window air conditioner a cheaper purchase.

Central Air Conditioners vs. Window Air Conditioners: What’s More Efficient?

When you look at the stats, it may seem like a window unit will use less energy. The average window unit uses between 500 and 1,440 watts of electricity in order to run, whereas a central air conditioner in the average-sized home uses around 3,500 watts. Part of the reason why central air conditioners use so much energy is because they need to use moving parts in order to disperse the cool air throughout the home.

However, a window unit is only effective at cooling one room at a time. This means that to cool the entire home, you would need window units for every room. This becomes less energy efficient and more costly than operating a central air conditioner – especially since new technology, such as automation and zoning – allow central air conditioners to be even more efficient than before.

Questions? Call W.F. Smith!

Keep these things in mind when choosing an air conditioner and be sure to contact W.F. Smith today for additional HVAC advice. We’ve serviced Philadelphia’s HVAC needs for 70 years!

W.F. Smith HVAC testimonial

I’ve been dealing with WF Smith for many years and have found them to be consistently reliable, professional, responsive and courteous. I recommend them without hesitation. I have recently replaced my builders’ grade HVAC (not initially installed by WF Smith) with Lennox products and, though the Lennox products are new on this house, I had Lennox products on my last home in Long Valley, NJ which I had built and was very pleased with their performance there. So, I have every expectation that I will be able to rely upon the product’s performance and manufacturer’s warranties, as well as upon the workmanship that characterizes the installation.