Central Air Conditioner Verses Window Air Conditioner
There are a number of options home owners can take when deciding how to cool their homes. Today we are going to look at the differences between a temporary air conditioner verses that of a permanently installed solution.
These systems are commonly sold in Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Walmart, etc. They range in size from around 2000 Btu to upwards of 15000 Btu. Basically there are ductless systems, window systems, and roller floor systems. Generally they are most effective when used to cool a single room in your home as there is only one output location.
One of the primary functions of any air conditioner is dehumidifying the air, this results in much cooler feeling temperatures. Window mounted systems expel the water out the back of the unit, floor standing units sometimes have reservoirs that need to be emptied.
Power consumption is an important factor when considering an air conditioner and unfortunately these smaller sized systems are some of the most inefficient systems you can buy. In fact most window and free standing air conditioner have SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) below 10. This is equivalent to full home central air conditioners sold in the 70’s.
These small systems typically have a one year warranty and realistically are not designed to last any more than 3-5 years. They are built cheaply and are sold at the same standard.
These systems are designed to cool your entire home, they install into your furnace system and use your homes existing duct-work to spread the cool air evenly. Full home air conditioners are not commonly sold in big box stores due to the specialized knowledge and equipment needed for installation. Your best bet is to have a local contract supply and perform installation. As always we recommend homeowners receive at least three quotes before choosing a contractor.
As with all air conditioners dehumidifying the air is a big part of maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature. Fully installed central air conditioners have a double walled collection plate that ensures all moisture is caught a diverted to the nearest drain.
Whole home air conditioners are now restricted by Governments on how efficient the system must be. Even the least efficient central air system that can be sold in Ontario is way more efficient than the portable systems mentioned above. You can expect a much more efficient air conditioner if you choose to cool your home with a central air conditioner.
Each manufacture and system has different warranties but in general you can get anywhere from 5-15 year guarantees on whole home central air conditioners. These systems are typically more expensive than the portable air conditioner but they are built to last a lot longer.
Each home is different and you the home owner are ultimately tasked with making the best decision. We always recommend exploring your options thoroughly. It’s easy to just purchase a small unit from Canadian Tire but it might be more economical to get a few free AC estimates and see just how cheap a central air conditioner can be.