This is commonly measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. A single BTU is equal to the amount of heat that is needed to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Air conditioners do not heat air up, they cool it down, so how is this relevant to an AC system?
Well, AC units are able to expel one BTU of heat per hour, per British Thermal Unit. This is often denoted as BTUh. This simply refers to the BTUs that are expelled by a unit each hour. In general, a 6000 BTU system can should be able to keep a space that measures 200 square feet reasonably cool, as long as the unit continues to run. ACs are able to keep 1′ x 1′ areas (between 8 to 10 feet high) cool, at 30 BTUs.
When you check out larger systems you will see that these are rated by the ton as opposed to having a BTU rating. A single ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs. It is just that easy.
If you are not considering a full central AC system, there are typically three types of ACs that you can consider. Among these are a wall mounted system, a portable system or a casement window AC.
Portable AC Unit
Portable ac units can be really handy to have around if you need to cool various rooms throughout the home at different times and have a fairly small budget or don’t want to install a number of AC units throughout the home. You will be able to move this unit around to any room that needs to be cooled. There are even some fairly big models out there as well. Cooling rooms that measure 400 square feet or larger is possible with some of the portable options that are currently available.
Air Conditioner for Wall
Wall mounted models tend to be the best option during the middle of a major construction project. These can be the least obtrusive given that they are installed right into the wall, wherever is convenient for you.
Our favorite wall air conditioner is the Frigidaire FRA124HT2 12,000/11,700 BTU Through-the-Wall Room Air Conditioner. This is a reasonably-priced unit that is fairly easy to install.
The drawback is that you will obviously need to have a hole in the wall for this installation. Typically, you should install a sleeve and then install the air conditioner for wall into this sleeve. This way, should you have to replace the system later down the road, doing so won’t be a major issue.
Casement Window AC
Casement window air conditioners fall between wall mounted designs and portable models. While these can often be installed into the wall, much like wall mounted systems, you won’t need to. You can instead put your unit in the window, which can be far easier if no major construction projects are in process. They are quick, easy and generally pretty low in cost as well.
Air conditioning systems can be costly, but if you have a good idea of what to search for, they will often pay for themselves in almost no time at all.
1. Search for options that have high Energy Star Efficiency Ratings. These models tend to be a bit more costly but you can save a hundred dollars or so each month, rather than buying a less costly model that is less efficient. You will get back the extra cash that you spend in a very short period of time and can keep saving throughout the years.
2. Programmable timers are another feature that can help you save a considerable amount of cash. You can program these to automatically raise them temperature or to shut off throughout specific times of the day and keep the room temperature low at other times. For instance, you might no worry about having higher temperatures while sleeping or while away from the home, but you may want it to be cool during the evening. Programmable timers make the necessary temperature adjustments automatically.
3. Following are several additional features to keep in mind when looking for a new or used AC system: Washable Filters, Fully Functional Remotes, Electronic Controls, Heater Functionality, Humidifier Functionality
Now you have enough information to make an informed decision when choosing your new AC. This will help you to get an amazing deal on a model that will keep your home comfortable and cool for many years.