How to Choose the Best Air Conditioner for an Apartment

Updated May 10, 2024 – If you’re living in a West Chester off campus student rental or a residential apartment, it certainly has its benefits. There is less for you to maintain and it is more cost-effective than having to manage an actual house. This includes keeping your apartment warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There are several ways you can achieve that goal, especially when it comes to keeping cool in the summer. In order to find the best air conditioner for an apartment, you need to understand how they work and what size best suits your needs.

Choosing the Best Air Conditioner for an Apartment

How Do Air Conditioners work?

Air conditioners work by cycling air in and out of your apartment. As the warm air is drawn into the conditioner and forced outside through the vents. As the warm air is forced out, air from outside is drawn in and forced through the cooling mechanism and then into your apartment. While some air conditioners use different cooling methods, most work in the same way by cycling air through the vents and back through the coolant.

Size Matters

The size of your air conditioner must be sufficient enough to cool the area where it will be placed. This is referred to as your unit’s cooling capacity. Each air conditioning unit is rated to be able to sufficiently cool so many square feet of indoor space. When purchasing an air conditioner, make sure to measure the room you plan to put it in. If you are unsure about the size of air conditioner you need, talk to a professional who will be able to help you figure it out.

What Are BTUs?

BTUs are a form of measurement. Known as British Thermal Units, BTUs are used to determine how much heat can be removed from an area within a specific amount of time. Window units may require as many as 25,000 BTUs. Portable units take much less, requiring as little as 8,000 to 12,000 units. Different size apartments take different BTUs. Understanding what causes those differences will make it easier for you to choose an air conditioner that can keep you comfortable without breaking your budget.

Types of Air Conditioners

Not every apartment is constructed in the same way. This means different sized windows and different flow patterns within the apartment. Different types of air conditioners are available to meet the needs of almost any size or style of apartment.

  • Window Units – Window units are extremely effective at cooling larger areas because they are able to draw in large amounts of air from outside. They require more BTUs and are able to cool air more efficiently due to how the air flows through the system.
  • Wall Mounts – Wall-mounted air conditioners are mounted directly to the wall. They don’t have to be placed in a window and won’t block or impede your view in any way. Wall units work much in the same way as a window unit except that the air is drawn from inside the apartment. The primary difference is that it takes fewer BTUs to run efficiently.
  • Portable – Portable air conditioning units are much smaller and will cool smaller areas. They use fewer BTUs and can be effectively moved from room to room. Portable units are more cost-effective and when combined with portable fans, can cool a much larger area for less money than it would cost to run multiple window units.

Learn to Survive Without an Air Conditioner

There will be times when your air conditioner won’t be available. Power outages and malfunctions with your air conditioner may result in sleepless nights if you don’t learn to live without your air conditioner. Many people become accustomed to the noise of their air conditioner. If that is the case, you may be able to get by with a fan running if your air conditioner would ever break down. If the power is out completely, open the windows and breathe in the fresh air.

Air conditioners are appliances of convenience. They make you feel comfortable and allow you to sleep peacefully. If you want to find the best air conditioner for an apartment that won’t break your bank, call and speak to a professional. This will ensure that the one you purchase will be a perfect fit for both your apartment and your budget.

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