Window units or Central AC? You are in the middle of a hot summer and your AC goes out or isn’t working properly. You are in the peak season for HVAC companies and you ask yourself what is going to be your best option for optimal AC and your financial means. You are considering running a window unit as opposed to your central AC, but you need to compare all the information between the two options before making your decision. This is a tough decision because in most summers, a working AC is a necessity. It can turn a crabby household into a happy household. Cooling your home with the proper system saves you money, electricity, and comfort. 

Window UnitsIs it Cheaper to Run Window Units or Central AC?

When it comes to buying a unit, a window unit is much cheaper to buy. They can range from $300-$1,500 and their monthly cost is about $30-$80 bucks a month depending on how much you use it. The difficulty is they typically do not cool an entire house so if you are looking to cool your whole house you would need to purchase several of these to accomplish your desired temperature. Window units use less than ⅓ of the amount of energy it takes to run a central AC unit in the same amount of time. Window units are truly best for smaller spaces. 

Central Air

Central air uses more energy to cool your home, however, it is cooling the entire home as opposed to one room. A window unit uses from 500 to 144- watts to run and a 2.5 ton central unit system uses about 3,500 watts.  The size of the house isn’t always a factor, the central air systems also involve the furnace. The air blowing through the house uses the furnace blower, which means there are more running parts.

There is much more to your cost than just the energy draw. Central air units typically have a longer lifespan but you are paying for the unit and installation. Window units you purchase and install yourself. You also need to consider the condition of your current unit, and take a look at the ducting to see if that is the issue before looking into purchasing anything new. You could buy a new central air unit, but if the ducting is full of holes or poorly insulated then the efficiency of the system goes down no matter how new it is. 

The deciding factor will be how many rooms you need to cool. If it is more than one room and your hope is for the entire house then the verdict is that it is cheaper overall to run a central AC unit. If you are installing three window units then you are using more energy than you would if you have a central AC unit. The biggest thing to note is you need to have a properly sized unit for your household size to run efficiently and be the most cost-effective. 

If you have any questions regarding heating or cooling, need HVAC maintenance or service, or would like to speak to one of our HVAC professionals, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

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