When I moved into my first place, I couldn't believe how dirty everything was all the time. I found myself dusting and mopping continuously, only to deal with a fresh layer of grime later. After awhile, I realized that the problem was blowing straight out of my air ducts. My ventilation lines were so dirty that it was spreading grime through my house every single time the air clicked on. Fortunately, I called an HVAC contractor who was able to clean my vents to a gleaming shine. I know how big of a difference cleaning up your ventilation system can make, which is why I want to spread the word.
Air conditioning units come in several different designs. There are central air units, portable units, window units, and wall units. However, regardless of the design there are essentially two types of air conditioner. There are central air units and single room units. A central air unit is designed to cool the entirety of your home or office. A single room unit is designed to cool a single room. You can use either of these air conditioners, or both of them, depending on your needs. The best way to determine the best air conditioner for your needs is to separate the decision into two categories, air conditioner type and air conditioner size.
Choose An Air Conditioner Type That Is Specific To Your Needs
The first decision to make will be based on the type of unit to purchase. Do you need to cool several areas, a single large area, or a small area? The size of the space that you will cool can be used to decide which basic unit type to work with.
If you need to cool an entire house or a very large room it would be best to purchase a central air unit. These units include means of forcing air to the entire home via ducts and fans. A single room air conditioner would not cool more than one room, or a few small connected rooms. However, central units can be quite expensive and take time to install. If you do not need to cool every room in your home, a central unit can be avoided altogether.
Consider your actual needs. Do you spend a lot of time in all of the rooms of your home? Certainly commonly used rooms would benefit from air conditioning, but what about the basement and attic? What about storage rooms? If you only have five rooms in your house, but typically live in two or three of them, consider purchasing much less expensive portable units and window units.
Once you decide what type of air conditioner you need, there are four basic air conditioner designs to consider. Each of these units is best at a specific task, as shown below.
Choose the Right Air Conditioner Size
An air conditioning unit is designed to produce a cooling effect that is measured by a metric known as BTUs. This measurement is used for both heating and air conditioning. It relates to how much heat is needed to increase a single pint of water by one degree on then Fahrenheit scale. In the case of air conditioners, it relates to how much equivalent heat is removed to cool the area.
The right size for your room or home will be determined by the square footage of the room or home. Air conditioners sized for home usage typically offer at least 5000 BTUs, but that will only cool a small room of 100 to 150 square feet. In smaller areas, every 50 to 100 additional square feet will require an additional 1000 BTUs to cool the area properly. This holds true up to 10000 BTUs, which will cool an area that is 400 to 450 square feet in size. After that point the sizes begin to escalate.
Put It All Together
What air conditioner should you choose? Decide on the type of unit that you need the variety of unit that you want, and the size that will be needed. For instance, you have a single room to cool that is 400 square feet in size. It has a window in the room and you want a window air conditioner for it. Given these specifications, you should choose a window unit that is 10000 BTUs.