Affordable Window AC for Your Home

In many places, affordable window AC is a necessity during the hot summer months where central air conditioning systems aren't an option. When you're in the market for a new window AC unit, of course, you want the best bang for your home. This doesn’t have to be overly complicated process. Your search to find the best and most affordable window AC unit can be simple and easy. All you have to do is keep reading!

How to Find Affordable Window AC

Efficiency

The first step to finding the most affordable window AC unit is looking for one with energy efficiency. This will save you 10% off the top of your energy bill in the first year. Energy Star units are a great place to start thanks to the many rebates offered for extra purchasing incentives.

Year after year, window units are becoming more efficient as technology gets better and smarter, so finding a unit that’s easy on the utility bill is easier than ever. Efficiency is how effectively an AC unit can move heat inside the home to outside the home and replace it with cool air. It’s the AC version of getting good of gas mileage.

Next, look for the CEER number. CEER is new measurement standard for window air conditioning units. It measures how much power is used when it’s plugged in but not running in combination with measurement of the unit’s efficiency when the air temperature is 95 degrees.

Capacity

In addition to scoring yourself a unit that is energy efficient, the size of a window unit also plays a big part. Bigger is not always better in this case. Size is measured with BTUs, or British Thermal Units. The more BTUs, the larger the room it cools. If you have a tiny room and an AC unit that is much larger than what you need to cool the space, the air conditioning unit won’t be able to cycle properly through the cooling patterns to effectively draw the heat out of the room. It makes for a “too much bang for your buck” problem and you will simply end up with a muggy living environment and an AC unit that won’t work properly.

If you have a unit that is too small for the space, it’s going to run constantly and get overburdened because it will never be able to adequately cool to the desired temperature. This greatly shortens the lifespan of the unit and will drive up the utility cost. This will ultimately cost you more money in the long run and should be avoided. Using a window unit wisely can help keep your energy use in check.

Maintenance

Although affordable window AC units are not as complex as their larger capacity central air cousins, regular maintenance is still essential to keep them running in top shape and at their most efficient. Which helps make for a more affordable window AC unit, since every ounce of efficiency saves you money!

Dust and outdoor particles can accumulate inside and clog the filter. Leaving these issues unaddressed will eventually reduce the cooling power of your unit, lessen its lifetime and cost you more in utility bills at the end of the month. Therefore, it’s worth your time to schedule some maintenance. This doesn't have to be complicated. Simply washing the filter gently with soap and water on a regular basis will do the trick.

Keep an eye on the aluminum fins located at the back of the unit. These are easily dented and damaged from everyday accidents, bad weather (like hailstones) or anything bumping up against it. Bent fins impeded airflow and will wear out the motor parts faster. A fin comb is easily available online and spending a few minutes straightening them out is worth your time. For more maintenance suggestions, refer to your owner’s manual.

Affordable Window AC Tips to Keep in Mind

When choosing the most affordable window AC and your cost of cooling in energy bills, consider the following factors and then adjust accordingly.

Direct Sunlight — Sun pouring in through your windows is loved by many, but your AC unit might despise you for it. Whenever possible, keep the unit out of direct sunlight.

Ceilings — If you have super tall ceiling beyond the standard 8 feet ceiling, you will want to increase your BTU a few to make up for the extra air square footage.

Lots o’ People — More than 2 people in your space? Take that into account! People generate heat, so you might need to modify your settings or your affordable window AC size to counter.

Kitchen — If you need a window unit in your kitchen, increase the cooling capacity by 4000 BTUs because of the increased heat from the oven and stove.

Bonus Tip — To protect yourself and prevent insects (such as mosquitos) from coming in your space, find a window unit that is equipped with traps. This will allow moisture to flow outside without letting pests come in your home.

Installation

Another benefit of an affordable window AC unit is the cost of installation. It is less expensive than a central air conditioning system and often times, it costs zero dollars. Most units are designed to fit right inside a standard window in most rooms. If you know that you want to keep the unit in that room forever, a custom-created wall sleeve can be created leaving your window free obstructions. Make sure that the unit is snug and doesn’t have any gaps that are air leaks. One air leak can greatly reduce cooling efficiency, leaving you feeling hot and sticky. All new air conditioning units come with an installation kit, so a DIY install is usually pretty easy.

Design can also reflect the cost of a unit. Keep in mind that modern, smart features are going to cost more. These features include timers, programming abilities and being able to control the temperature from your phone. All of these features can help you save on utility cost long term but may increase the cost of a window unit upfront. Ultra-affordable units typically have basic knobs for the temperature controls, or simple digital panels with up and down temperature selections.

The Final Word on Affordable Window AC

With summer just around the corner, start looking for sales and/or extra rebates on select affordable window AC units. This is a prime time to buy and often a little scouting will go a long way to help you save some cash. You can also check out a selection of affordable window AC units right here on IWAE.

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