You can’t understate the importance of air conditioning. It can turn a hot summer afternoon into something much more bearable. Even so, due to the rising cost of energy and the growing need for us to conserve energy, we are naturally going to look for ways to cool our homes in a manner that is both energy efficient and cheap. We had a chat with Maxwell Dennis of R.A Styron AC and asked him which made more sense: window air conditioning units or a central air unit? Here are some of the interesting points he gave us.
The Consumption of Energy | The average home will consume more electricity for the cooling system than any other appliance used in it. That means that the greatest savings on your energy bill will come from choosing the right cooling system. A central air unit will consume more energy. If you use a window unit, you’re looking at a range of between 500 and 1,440 watts. Meanwhile, a central unit weighing 1.5 tons consumes 3,500 watts. This is mainly because of the furnace involved in central cooling units. It is the furnace blower that blows air to all areas of the house and this means more power consumption.
How Much Does Installation Cost? | Now, it’s true that a central unit will use more energy than a window cooling unit. This isn’t where your analysis should end, however, considering the fact that the cost of installation should also be considered. If you’re paying a lot to buy and install a system, it can mean a higher cost per use. All you have to do is take the total price of the unit and the labor cost of installation and add them up, and then divide the result by the number of months you use the unit for. This shows you how much it costs to use the cooling unit per month. Here, again, the window unit wins as it is not only much cheaper than the central unit but can also be fixed without any professional help.
Other Considerations | There are other things you should consider when choosing the right cooling unit for your home, such as the condition of your current heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is in. It doesn’t matter how efficient your central unit is. If there are too many holes in the ducts through which the air travels or where they aren’t very well insulated, your system will suffer great losses in efficiency. This means a higher cost and negates your efforts to save money. If you’re going to go for a central unit, make sure you inspect your HVAC system. The ducts should be in pristine condition and well-insulated before the unit is installed. This, of course, adds to the costs of installing the unit. Window units, on the other hand, blow air directly into the room. They don’t need that much cleaning when compared to central units.
The central unit does cost more than window units overall. However, it is most effective if you’re going to be cooling a large house with multiple rooms. It also commands a higher price when you resell it and adds significant value to your home if you ever plan to sell your home. Meanwhile, even though window units are cheaper per unit, they consume more energy when three or more are needed to do the same job as a central unit. The trick is to use them for smaller spaces and use the central unit when you want to cater to the whole house at once.