What Type of Air Conditioner Should I Buy?

What Type of Air Conditioner Should I Buy?

As summer inches closer, and the days get warmer, most people are eager to get their shorts, tank tops, and sunglasses and head over to the beach. For most, this is also the season when it can get quite hot and uncomfortable to stay indoors unless you invest in a good air conditioner. According to meteorologists, summer 2021 is expected to be the hottest in years. So, if you're looking to buy an air conditioner, pay close attention to the type you're buying. Likewise, you need to consider efficiency, reliability, and the ability to provide comfort for the entire home.

Type of Air Conditioners

Making the right choice when buying an air conditioner will save you a great deal of money in the long run. There are several types of air conditioners in the market, each offering unique features and characteristics. Your decision will be influenced by a lot of factors, including the size of the area you want to cool and, of course, your budget.

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Window-Mounted Air Conditioners

These are the most common types of air conditioners. Just as the name suggests, they are fitted in a window opening and are suitable for cooling a single room or a small area. Window air conditioners come in different sizes and at varying costs.

  • Small – its capacity ranges from 5,000 BTU to 6,500 BTU and can efficiently cool a 100 to 300 square feet room. They are the least expensive, costing roughly between $150-$250. 

  • Medium – capacity ranges from 7,000 BTU to 8,200 BTU and can efficiently cool a 250-400 square feet room. They are a bit hefty and costs may start from $200 onwards.

  • Large – capacity ranges from 9,800 BTU to 12,500 BTU and can efficiently cool a 350-650 square feet room. They are suitable for cooling large areas but are bulky and weighty. Their costs range from $350-$600.


  • Affordable

  • Simple to install

  • Easy maintenance

  • Doesn’t take up your floor space


  • Obscures the window

  • Can be noisy when it's running

  • It's visible from the outside and could be compromised by burglars

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Wall Mounted Air Conditioners

These models are fitted permanently by attaching a metal sleeve and sliding the AC from inside. This type requires extra planning since a hole must be cut in the exterior wall.


  • Fit more securely compared to window units

  • Doesn’t obstruct natural light

  • Better design

  • More energy efficient


  • High initial cost of installation

  • Requires professional installation

  • Metal sleeves are bought separately, adding to the cost

The prices range from $400, and a single unit can cool a 400-700 square feet room. You can also opt for a larger model that can cool/heat a 1,000 square-foot room. But its cost can be as high as $700.

Portable Air Conditioner

If your windows prevent you from installing window ACs, a portable AC is a great option. This is a single, “self-contained” unit that has all its components inside one appliance. They are mobile, with some having wheels for easy portability.

The unit contains a tube to exhaust heat out of a window or through an opening in a wall.


  • Easy to set up and use – doesn’t require professionals to do it

  • Easy to move from one room to another

  • Easy to store when not needed


  • Can be noisy 

  • Not suitable for larger rooms

  • Takes up floor space

  • Exhaust tube must be installed every time it's moved

Portable ACs prices start from $700 and can cool a 150-300 square-foot room.

Ductless Split Air Conditioner

A ductless split air conditioner is ideal for a house without a comprehensive duct system. The name split means the appliance consists of two or more parts: the condenser unit, which is installed outdoors, and the compact blower unit/evaporate unit that’s mounted on the wall and installed in appropriate areas that you want to be cooled.


  • Easy installation

  • Controls the temperature of each room

  • Are much quieter than window ACs


  • More expensive

  • One unit is not enough to cool larger rooms

Split ductless air conditioners can cost upward of $1,000.

Central Air Conditioner

If you want to cool multiple rooms or have a large home, a central air conditioning system is best suited for you. A central air conditioner uses a split system that regulates air through ducts installed in your home. It's more cost-effective than a split ductless and can cool multiple rooms simultaneously.


  • It’s a silent system since most components are located outside

  • Installation can be straightforward if your house already has ductwork

  • More efficient to cool your whole house


  • Requires a professional to install it

  • Requires annual maintenance

  • If your house doesn't have ductwork, it will have a high initial setup cost

When it comes to making the final decision, you’ll need to consider a lot of things, like the size of the room you want to cool, initial setup costs, the number of people in your home, and BTU output.

Any thoughts? Let us know your comments!

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