Central Units vs. Window AC

From on July 08, 2008 in Air Conditioning & Heating

air conditionerWith the 4th of July holiday now behind us, we’re beginning to settle into the long, hot days of summer. Many of us are desperately looking for solutions to our discomfort in the relentless heat. With rising energy costs to consider, which are more cost-effective and efficient: window ACs or central units?

The initial cost to install a central unit is significantly more expensive than a window unit. Although each area varies, it can cost up to $6000 to install a central HVAC system. Because it must cool the whole house at one time, a central unit has to work harder and will consume more energy. The pros are that the whole house will be comfortable for you instead of just one room, and you don’t have the eye-sore of a window unit.

Window units can be as inexpensive as $99 and are quite simple to install. Drawbacks? They can only cool one room at a time, can be noisier to run, obstruct the light through a window, and are unattractive both inside and out.

As these consumers discussed in the iVillage Garden Web forum, you will save money with a window unit if you are willing to put up with inconveniences. If you spend more time in some rooms than in others and don’t mind focusing the cool air in those areas, the inconveniences might not be so big.

Regardless of which system you choose, correct sizing is important, as well as taking in other factors, such as where you live, the orientation of your home to the sun, the quality of your home’s insulation, and the location of your windows and doors. All of these considerations will impact whether central or window AC is a more efficient solution for you. In today’s world of energy concerns, it definitely is an issue that warrants taking a closer look at.

Currently trying to market my own home, my realtor advised that not having a central HVAC system was a major drawback, especially with the current high temperatures. He advised installing a system to help with marketability, or at least to offer a $2000 cash incentive to a buyer to help them with the installation. Whatever option you select, you can request the assistance of a professional contractor to help with the installation. Request free estimates from pre-screened HVAC contractors in your area today to make your summer more comfortable.