Air Conditioning units: Are they worth it?

Air Conditioner Maintenance

It only takes one hot day to convince you that air conditioning is a good idea for your home. Good quality modern homes can be designed to prevent overheating but incorporating a cooling system is not a bad idea if you can afford it. However, air conditioning can be very expensive. Not just for the cost of the unit but for the sustained cost of running them as well.

What types of Air Conditioning is available? 

It is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to air conditioning. You should look for a reputable salesman for the most reliable units. There are several options from portable units to those that are fully integrated into the home. The most simple to use is the portable unit. They are an all-in-one unit that is typically the size of a large kitchen bin. It can be plugged into a wall socket and operate anywhere in the home. Just move it to where it is needed. Though it should be noted that there is a requirement to place a duct out of a window to expel the warm air outside and a container to capture the condensation that will be produced when it is in operation.

There is also the option of a fully installed air conditioning unit. They often come in two parts and need to be installed by engineers. The fan unit will be located outdoors and be connected via pipework and electrical connections to an indoor unit that will deliver cool air to the home. The indoor unit can be a simple bolt-on box that foes on the wall at a high level. These systems are known as split air conditioning systems.

Evaporative Coolers are another option. They use less energy than the above ones because they work on the principle of blowing air through a curtain of water that evaporates creating a cooling effect. A supply of dry air is needed, and the moist air needs to be released at the opposite ends of the room. These are most popular in Australia due to the hot, dry climate.


The cost of running air conditioning depends on the output of the unit you install. The air conditioning system uses electricity to run a refrigerant system that creates cooling. The cooling power is more than the electric consumption so a 6kW air conditioning system may use only around 2kWh of electricity. This can work out around 30p per hour. However, cooling is a gradual process and therefore you may need to switch on the conditioning before the room heats up too much.


Air conditioning systems often require an annual service to make sure that there have been no leaks. Small portable systems do not need servicing by an engineer. You merely need to check the filters and drains for blockages. Larger units will require more time and effort and often a professional so that you know the unit is working properly.

Air conditioning

This can all come down to your personal preference and where you live. In drier and hotter climates, it may be a useful asset. In a more temperate climate, this may be a luxury that is not needed.

What do you need to know when selecting your air conditioner?

Since the market is generous, the numerous options may intimidate you and slow down the selection process. Our recommendations will come in handy when examining your choices:

Air Conditioning units Are they worth it

Look for energy efficiency

New air conditioners with Energy Star certifications are made with excellent insulation materials. They also come with user-friendly instructions so that you obtain a perfect seal around the unit to reduce the risk of leaks.

Pay attention to the window location

If you go with a window air conditioner, you need to factor in the window placement. These units effectively blow air in one direction, which is problematic if the window isn’t placed on the wall’s center. The unit should direct air to its center to keep the entire room cool. See if the AC unit has to blow air to the left or the right.

Check out the noise level

Models with excellent results in noise tests are so quiet that you can only notice the fan running. Air conditioning units that aren’t silent will alter your comfort at night even when set on low.

Consider smart cooling

Many modern air conditioners come with intelligent features that allow you to adjust and monitor them from the smartphone. Thanks to today’s technology, you can even connect the units in your home. More details about smart features come down below.

Identify the filter location

You should be able to access the filter friendly and easy for cleaning. You want to do it as often as necessary to keep the air conditioning unit up and running.

Check out the warranty

Some air conditioners have more extended warranties than others. When purchasing a new unit, you should take a look at the manufacturer’s website for information. Ask the retailer about the warranty for the unit and brand you’re about to buy from.

Install it properly

Improper installation will affect the performance and durability of your air conditioner. For instance, a window unit requires leveling for effective draining. Don’t place any heat-generating devices (TVs, lamps) near the unit. Follow the AC installation tips to get the best out of your new AC unit.

Get the right size

You don’t just go shopping for an AC unit; you need to identify the size of the unit able to cool the room. Start by multiplying the length of the room by the width. The size shouldn’t be the only criteria when selecting your air conditioner. The unit’s height, location, and size of doorways and windows also come into place.

Additionally, keep in mind:

  • Decrease the capacity by 10% if the room is intensely shaded
  • Increase the capacity by 10% if the sun inundates the room
  • Increase the capacity by 4,000Btu for the kitchen
  • Add 600Btu if more than one person is using the space.

Which type of unit should you buy?

If you want to cool a very small space, you can find a reliable model for less than $200. For larger rooms, though, you will have to be more meticulous when selecting the AC unit. Details on the main types of air conditioner units come next.

Air Conditioning units Are they worth it

Portable units

The portable models are excellent for homes when versatility is crucial. You can easily carry them around from one room to another. These units can cool spaces of all sizes and eliminate the worry and costs of installation. You only need to plug them and enjoy the cool air.

Split Ductless Air Conditioners

Split ductless is an excellent method to add air conditioning to a limited number of rooms without installing ductwork or opening up walls. Split ductless systems are pricier than the window and portable units and more affordable than central air.

Window ACs

Window AC units are perfect for small rooms where space is accessible to constraints and the room has windows in the center. Compared to split ACs, the window units are relatively easy to install as they don’t need drill walls to conceal air tubes. Since most of these models have built-in heaters, you can also use them in the winter.

What smart features to look for in your AC unit?

Since the industry of cooling systems has developed so much over the last years, you can now have AC units with smart features for a very attractive price. Check out the features on the AC units when looking for a model:


Touchpads with large LED displays, clear labeling, sizeable and smartly-placed buttons, and digital temperature readouts are some features to look for in an AC unit. Raised buttons with various shapes ease out the identification by feel. Digital temperature readouts ensure accurate reading as well.

Efficiency aids

An AC unit with a timer allows you to turn it off when you’re not home. At the same time, you can turn it on before you get home so that the house is cool and comfy before your arrival. Energy-saver settings stop the fan if the compressor is off. As a result, the electricity bill will decrease.

Directional airflow vents

Some units let you adjust the airflow direction vertically and horizontally. You can find models with oscillating fans. Consider your room’s layout when buying and get a model that will direct the airflow where you actually need it.

Dehumidifying Mode

This function is helpful for cool yet humid days in fall and spring.


It’s a great feature to save energy. A 24-hour programmable timer will let you personalize the unit’s operating schedule according to your needs.

Fresh-Air Intake or Exhaust Setting

It’s a valuable feature that makes the unit ventilate without cooling.

Remote Control

Thanks to the remote control, you will no longer need to near the AC unit to adjust the setting. Some units come with built-in temperature sensors to relay the room’s temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much will you pay for a new AC unit?

Expect to pay anywhere from $3,350 t0 $6,000 for a new AC unit (the unit and installation). Most homeowners will spend around $4,600 for installing AC in their homes. You can consider buying a single-window unit or portable units for $200 to $700. Ductless mini-splits are also great for households, and prices range from $3,000 to $10,000.

Is it worth buying an AC unit?

High-efficiency air conditioners come with prices that throw off clients shopping on a tight budget. Even if you pay more money upfront, the operating costs for these models are lower than with low and mid-efficiency models. In the long run, you will discover that purchasing a high-efficiency air condition is a wise investment since it reduces the utility bills.

Should you service the air conditioner?

The fins, coils, and filters of the air conditioner need regular maintenance to ensure the proper performance of the air conditioner. Don’t skip regular maintenance if you don’t want to void the warranty and pay high electricity bills.

Is it possible to install the air conditioner on your own?

The type of air conditioner you plan on using in your home decides if you should hire the professionals or not. Unless you purchase a portable unit, it’s wise to hire professionals to install the air conditioner. Air conditioner units are unique to every manufacturer, but the installation process is similar between various brands. If you have some experience with electrical work and plumbing, you can succeed in installing the air conditioner on your own.

Can you fix the air conditioner without professionals’ help?

Should you be comfortable working around electricity and are ready to spend $50 on parts, you can repair the air conditioner unit. Obviously, gather all the information you need about troubleshooting the air conditioner unit and make sure you don’t void the warranty by fixing the AC on your own.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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