Central Air vs. Window Unit

July 21st, 2014 by admin

deluxe_unit_installer2011As August approaches some might think that the harsh heat of summer is behind us, but in fact it’s just starting. Late July into August has historically been the hottest time of year! We’ve talked about the natural ways to cool your house this summer, but with the highest temps rolling in fast, you need to have the best and most effective method of cooling your home. So you need AC, your next question might be, do I want central air or window units? We’re here to layout the advantages and disadvantages of both to help make your decision a little easier.



The cost of centralized air vs. window units can not be compared upfront, but over time. The initial cost of window units are significantly lower than installing central air. The downside to paying less upfront is the eventual long term cost. Window units only cool the one room it is installed in, while central air is set up to cool the entire household. You’d have to buy an individual unit for each and every room of your house, bumping up the initial cost of a window unit. And, if a window unit stops working, falls out the window, or malfunctions, you’d have to buy a new one, where with central air there are repair teams who will come to your home and fix the system.



Energy efficiency can be complicated for both central air and window units. Both are measured by the EER (energy efficiency ratio) rating, but central air can also be measured by the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating. The Energy Star certification allows buyers like you to know if your unit is energy efficient, therefore your window unit must have an EER of 9.4-10.7, while your central air system must have a rating of at least 12 to be certified. Central air systems are generally rated higher, meaning they are more efficient. If you have any questions about efficiency ratings of your AC unit, contact one of our professionals here at JK Mechanical at 800-JKM-0028.



Like any appliance in your home, any AC system requires maintenance and care post installation. Window units require upkeep that can generally be done manually. Basic maintenance requires vacuuming out the condenser coils, replacing or cleaning clogged, dirty or old filters that could reduce efficiency and checking the condenser coil for bent cooling fins. Central air requires the cleaning of the condensation pump and checking the air filter which can all be done by your JK Mechanical professional. It will requires virtually no maintenance for you, keeping your home cool and your summer stress free!


Size of House

When deciding between the two AC systems, a question to consider is how many rooms are you trying to cool during the hottest months? Generally homes or apartments with three or less room’s find window units to be most effective. Larger homes with four or more rooms find central air to most effectively cool every room with the best long term cost and quality. Larger homes, as opposed to apartments, also have more room to install central air.
The choice between using central air or window units to cool your home during the hot summer months may be different for everyone. With more than 30 years of experience in providing outstanding service and installation of air conditioning systems to the Lancaster and surrounding communities, JK Mechanical offers the unmatched service and repair, plus 24-hour on-call emergency service. Contact us today to ensure a cool rest of the summer!

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