Summer heat can be brutal, now how about if you don’t have an AC? Installing a central air conditioning unit is quite the undertaking and can be expensive. Many homeowners opt for window AC units instead. But do window AC units use a lot of electricity? Well, compared to central units, they do not. A window AC unit uses less than ⅓ of the amount of energy. But if you have more than one unit, it can quickly add up. Window AC units make sense in small spaces. But if you have a larger home or want to cool several different areas at once, it’s more cost effective to install central air. For the energy conscious homeowner, a power consumption meter is a handy way to keep track of how much energy each appliance is using.
Can My Electrical System Handle Air Conditioning?
A window AC unit is more powerful than most household appliances. It is essential that your electrical system is capable of handling the new addition. Small 115-volt window units with a 15-amp requirement can be used with standard outlets. But large units with 125 or 220 volts and higher amperage ratings require a committed outlet. If you don’t have one available, you’ll have to have one installed by a professional electrician. Call us before installation!
Is Ductless Air Conditioning a Better Option?
A ductless air conditioner, or mini-split unit, is more expensive than a window unit but much more powerful. Mini-splits are more energy efficient than central AC systems and can cool a much larger area than a window unit. A mini-split gets its name from the way the unit works; the thermostat and air vent are inside the room it’s cooling, while the cooling fans are on the exterior. The mini-split has features like timers and programmable settings. So you can set it at a lower temperature at night or when you’re not home to save money, much like a central AC unit.
Since the cooling portion of the unit is located outside, it has the same sound level as a fan, making it a much quieter option than a traditional window unit. Professional installation is required for a mini-split unit, although the installation process is less involved and costly than a central air system.
What’s the Least Expensive Option?
At the end of the day, a window unit will cost you less than a ductless or central AC unit, but it may not be able to give you the kind of cooling you’re looking for. If you need more than one window unit, a mini-split will save you much more money over the long run, even with its initial installation costs. If you do decide to install a central AC system, there are ways to keep your costs down. Consider installing a smart thermostat, which can help monitor your energy usage and alert you to ways you can save money. For example, a smart thermostat would be able to track your energy usage and suggest a temperature for your air conditioner to save money. You’d be surprised what a difference a few degrees can make on your energy bill.
Whatever option you choose for your cooling needs, the L-Train team is here for you! can make sure your electrical system is up to the challenge. Contact (860) 343-1797.