About a quarter of U.S. households rely on window AC units to keep them cool. Do you? If you have a window AC unit (or two or three) instead of central air conditioning, summer is a prime time to reassess whether you should upgrade your home’s cooling situation.
In this article, we’ll cover the following four reasons to upgrade your window AC unit to central air conditioning:
How important is energy efficiency to you when you purchase a new appliance? If you care about efficiency, window AC units have numerous cons:
- Significant air leakage: When you have a window AC, outdoor hot air can flow into your home, causing the AC to run longer and use more energy. In addition to wasting energy, it can also contribute to higher humidity levels in your home.
- Recirculation of cool air: Unless you install a diverter between your window AC unit’s cool air supply and the room’s air return vent, you’ll be wasting energy (and money). Why? Only a fraction of the cool air your AC pumps out makes it to your room. The rest doesn’t cool your room. Instead, it gets recirculated back into the unit. So, you’re paying for all of the cool air leaving your AC, but your room only gets a portion of it.
Due to the potential for air leakage and recirculation, using a window AC unit is less efficient than a central AC. And where there’s energy efficiency, there’s also cost savings, bringing us to…
Long-term cost savings
Central air conditioning is an investment that can cost anywhere from $6,000 - $14,000+ in Phoenix. Compared to the $150 - $600 you’d pay for a window AC unit, the price of installing central AC might seem a little high.
Remember that your upfront system costs aren’t the only expenses you have to worry about, as you should also consider your monthly energy bills.
Since window AC units are less efficient than most central AC systems, you may wind up with higher monthly bills.
In fact, running three or more window AC units can run up your utility bills more than running a central AC. This increase occurs because you’re using three separate systems to pump out air and cool the room. Not to mention, if you’re constantly opening or keeping the door open, window AC units have to work extra hard to make up for those losses in cool air, decreasing their energy efficiency and increasing your bills.
If you’re looking for a cooling system that provides more overall comfort, it might be time to go with central air conditioning.
With window unit(s), you might experience the following comfort-related issues:
- Having to lug around a heavy AC unit
- Dealing with an uneven distribution of cool air in the house
- Being unable to open the window
Lugging around a heavy AC unit: Even in warm and sunny Phoenix, you don’t need air conditioning year-round. During the cooler months, you probably need to remove your heavy window AC unit and put it away in storage, meaning you have to carry it around twice a year. However, with central air conditioning, you don’t have to lift a finger or find storage for it.
Dealing with uneven cool air distribution: Unlike central air conditioning, which evenly distributes cool air throughout the house, a window unit only cools its room. That means you could go from being perfectly cool and comfortable in one room to sweating in another.
Not being able to open the window: There’s a certain level of comfort that comes with opening the windows to air out your home and enjoy some fresh air. But, you can’t open the window if the AC unit is blocking it, which is especially inconvenient if it’s the only window in that room.
Let’s face it: A window AC unit is bulky and loud. Our last reason to upgrade comes down to the visual, sound, and curb appeal of a central AC system compared to a window AC unit.
Some buyers opt for replacing their window AC unit with central AC due to the difference in visual appeal.
A window unit covers up about half of your window with a bulky box and reduces the amount of natural light in your home.
On the other hand, a central AC is tucked away, out of sight and out of mind. If you prefer the visual appeal of full windows and natural light, consider opting for central AC.
When you install a window AC unit, the entire system is right there in the room—including the noisiest parts (e.g., compressor). If you’re trying to watch TV or have a conversation in the same room as a window AC unit, you may have to turn up the volume or speak louder if you want to hear over the unit.
Cooling a home with central AC is typically quieter than running a window unit. Why? Although central AC does produce noise, the outdoor unit is tucked away from sleeping or living areas—away from earshot.
If you decide to sell your home down the line, you know what they say about curb appeal: you’ve gotta have it. A clunky window AC unit could impact your home’s curb appeal and its selling price. Not to mention, a window AC unit does not add to your home’s value.
On the other hand, central AC is an investment with a substantial resale value. For example, installing central AC could increase your home’s property value by as much as 10%. Many buyers will not consider purchasing a home if it doesn’t have central air.
Upgrade your cooling with George Brazil
If you’re ready to swap your window AC unit with central air conditioning, go with Phoenix’s most trusted AC installers, George Brazil. For over 65 years, we’ve helped homeowners in the area with all of their HVAC repair and installation needs.
After you request a free AC installation estimate, we’ll work with you to find the system that’s right for you. Get started today!