Looking for a Room Air Conditioner? Read This First

Sure, for some homes, central air conditioning may be the most suitable solution for air conditioning. However, central air conditioning can be pricey and typically requires installation to be done by an expert. It is for this reason that a room air conditioner may be the best option in cases where only a given area or room in your home needs air conditioning.

However, with so many models available in the market and all the things that need to be considered, it’s important that you do not make your purchase in a hurry.

Which type of room air conditioner do you need?


Your choice of room air conditioner will be influenced by where you want to use it and how much time you’re willing to spend on setting it up. You may need your landlord’s approval if you’re a tenant. Of course, if you’re a homeowner, you need not worry about this.

Below are the common types of room air conditioners:

  • Wall-mounted units need renovation to be done.
  • Window-mounted units are economical and the most widely used.
  • Wall/window units can be installed on a wall or window.
  • Portable units can be relocated to other rooms and remove hot air through a connection that leads outside the room’s window.
  • Split ductless systems or mini-air systems are a bit pricier than wall/window units but don’t cost as much as central air conditioning.

When considering room air conditioners, give preference to the ones that use R410A refrigerant, which is eco-friendly, unlike HCFC refrigerants such as R-22, which damages the ozone layer. Using eco-friendly refrigerant also protects your investment because you need not replace it in the future when only eco-friendly units are approved.

It’s essential that you purchase a unit that can adequately cool the entire area of the room in which you plan to use the air conditioner. Most manufacturers will indicate the area of coverage that is recommended. Failing to cover the entire room or far exceeding what is needed for the room are both suboptimal solutions.


BTU recommended for large, medium and small rooms are as follows:

  • Large room – 350-950 sq. ft. require 9,800 to 12,500 BTU’s
  • Medium room – 250-550 sq. ft. require 7,000 – 8,200 BTU ‘s
  • Small room – 100-300 sq. ft. require 5,000 – 6,000 BTU ‘s

Once you identify a room air conditioner you might be interested in, take into account the unit’s coverage area.

Save costs by choosing a unit with a high EER rating

Compared to non-qualifying room air conditioning units, those qualified by EnergyStar can help you save up to 30% on energy. It’s also advisable to give preference to units certified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) as having an energy efficiency rating (EER). The higher the rating is, the less you’ll spend on energy for the unit.

All in all, room air conditioning units that have a rating of 11+ are more affordable to operate than those rated 6. Considered together with the EnergyStar qualification, a high EER rating suggests that your new air conditioner is up to standard.


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