While an HVAC installation may seem pricey at first, it pays for itself within a few years. Here in SoCal, it is uncommon to find no kind of air conditioning in residential and commercial buildings. While a window AC unit may seem like a cheap and useful alternative, it does not cool your house as quickly or efficiently as a proper, central air system. A central air unit can cool your entire house, and when run efficiently can save you money while keeping your house cool. A window unit can only cool the room it is placed in, and if there is any draft or lack of sealant any cool air will seep out. A window air conditioner will be frosty near the unit but might have warm spots on the other side of the room. That is because it will not circulate the air in your room as efficiently as a central AC unit. Through central air there is a constant flow of cool air, and despite a draft will continue to cycle air through each room leading to less loss of air than a window unit. This would mean running your window unit more, which can lead to a costly electric bill.
Although window air conditioners are getting better at filtering the air, they just can’t compare to a central air conditioner. So, if you have asthma or allergies, central AC is far better. A lack of good filtration can cause asthma and allergy attacks in both pets and humans and can become an environment for mold and other air pollutants. Having good filtration is an important part of any household and another benefit of central air conditioning. Although it costs more to purchase and install a central unit – and responsible owners also spend more on annual service calls for maintenance and inspection – if you plan to cool three or more rooms, the most cost-effective and energy-efficient choice is the central unit. A central unit has greater resale value, so you recover more of your investment if you sell your home. The weightiest factor, however, is that three window units typically use more energy than a single central unit. Also consider that three rooms likely are a large portion of the home, and every time you travel between cooling zones with a window unit, you’re leaking cool air, making your unit work harder.
Are there benefits to running window AC units instead of installing a new HVAC unit?
A window unit can be more cost-effective and energy-efficient if you are only using one of them. If you don’t need to cool your whole house or are living in a smaller space, then you probably only need a window unit. The upfront cost is much lower for a window unit. One window unit only uses about ⅓ of the amount of electricity that central air uses. If you are going to need more than one unit to cool the amount of space that you need then you will likely want to make the investment in a new central unit. TOTAL 1 AC & HEATING offers free estimates, so give us a call to schedule your no charge appointment.