If you’re trying to decide between installing one or more window air conditioners versus installing a central air-conditioning system, you’re not alone. Many people face this decision every year as summer looms closer. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and you should consider the following when making your purchasing decision.

Window Air Conditioners

A window air conditioner doesn’t require any special skills or equipment to install. No electrician is necessary, since it uses an ordinary electrical outlet. Varying in size and power, the more expensive and larger units naturally cost more and deliver greater cooling. This cooling power is designated using BTUs (British Thermal Units). The more BTUs your air conditioner has, the more it can do for you.

Central Air Conditioning Systems

Central air conditioners are more complex and more powerful than window units. They make use of an outdoor compressor unit that pumps a refrigerant to and from the home in order to cool it. Considerably larger than most window air conditioners, the internal part of a central air-conditioning system is connected to ductwork running throughout your home. Because the main components of the system (apart from the air circulator) are located outside the home, central air conditioning systems are usually much quieter than window units.

The Area to Be Cooled

Keep in mind that a single window air conditioner will be able to cool the only one room. More than this, if you don’t choose a unit that is large enough it might not be able to cool even that one room. Very powerful window units will still only cool about 1000 ft.². By contrast, a central air conditioning system can cool an entire home. Of course, it is still essential that the central air-conditioning system be sized properly when it’s installed. One that’s too small will not cool your home sufficiently, while one that’s too large will waste energy.

Energy Efficiency

There’s a common misconception that window air conditioners might be more efficient than central air conditioning systems. In fact, the opposite is often true. Window units that are undersized and too small to properly cool a room will run all the time and waste electricity. On the other hand, central air conditioning systems can cool an entire home much more quickly than a window unit can cool a single room, but they will use much more electricity in the process.

When trying to choose the most efficient model window air conditioner or central air conditioning system, from companies like Springer Bros Air Conditioning-Heating LLC, you should look at their rating. Window air conditioners are rated using the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) system. Central air conditioning systems use the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating system. Look for a unit that has a rating of 13 or higher.