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Can Small Air Conditioners Effectively Cool Your Home?

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If you’ve recently checked out the price tag associated with the larger units used in a central AC system, you may be looking for more affordable solutions. Since smaller air conditioners are known for being less expensive, they could be a feasible option for your family. The real question is whether any of these smaller air conditioners can effectively cool your home.

Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners are among the smallest and most affordable available on the market. Unfortunately, they can also weigh around 100 pounds, so installing them in your windows may be trickier than you expect. Window units are also known for being loud and consuming quite a bit of power. Since each window unit will only be able to cool one room – assuming it isn’t a large room – you’ll need to buy one unit for every room in your house.

The main issue with trying to use window AC units to cool your home is that any rooms without windows won’t get the benefit of the conditioned air created. It’s also possible that you’ll have trouble finding the appropriate size air conditioner to fit windows of a non-standard size.

Portable Air Conditioners

Depending on the model of portable air conditioner you buy, you’ll either need to run the vent through your wall or out the window. For interior rooms, this will create the same issue as window air conditioners in that you can’t effectively cool them.

Unlike window units, portable air conditioners are movable, so you may be able to direct them toward interior rooms as a way to make them more comfortable. You’ll also have the freedom to move your unit to different rooms as needed, as long as you don’t mind the bulky appearance.

Small Compressors

If you already have a central air conditioning system, you may be tempted to purchase a smaller compressor for it than what your home’s square footage demands. While this can help you save money, and may even allow you to purchase a unit with a higher SEER rating, it won’t cool your home as effectively as you want. Ultimately, a smaller unit will have to run more frequently than its larger counterparts, yet still won’t be as efficient at conditioning the air.

This strategy can lead to hefty energy bills and limited comfort.

The Verdict

While small air conditioners may be able to effectively cool down a room or two, they’re not suitable for providing a comfortable climate to your entire home. That said, the conditioned air they provide is still better than nothing when you’re out of options and staring at a long, hot summer.

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