During the summer, when temperatures start to soar, having a working air conditioning system can make a world of difference. However, the rising energy costs and nationwide awareness of energy conservation mean you must be careful about using your system too much. You can alleviate some concern by investing in an energy efficient air conditioning system. Many homeowners are unsure about which type of system is the most efficient. Is it the central air conditioning system or a window-mounted unit? Both offer distinct advantages, as well as some downfalls. Which one saves you more money per month depends on a few factors.

Comparing AC Energy Use

On average, homeowners use more energy for heating and cooling than any other appliance or accessory in the home. So, if you want to save money each month, be considerate of your cooling usage. The average window air conditioning system uses anywhere from 500 to 1440 watts to operate. On the other hand, a 2.5-ton central air conditioning unit, designed for a home up to 2,000-square-feet, uses around 3,500 watts. Why the huge increase? A central air unit utilizes the furnace, too. You do not receive cool air anywhere in the home without the furnace blower, which means a larger power draw from the system.

Outside Factors That Affect AC Efficiency

Another factor that determines the energy efficiency of your home’s cooling system is the condition of the existing setup. Your central air unit can be the most efficient model on the market, but if the air ducts are filled with holes or poorly insulated, the efficiency of the entire system is compromised. As a result, the cost to operate the unit rises. If you want to run your air conditioning system in the most efficient manner possible, insulate your ducts and have them inspected regularly for signs of wear or damage.

The Verdict: Which Air Conditioning System Is More Efficient?

Overall, it’s tough to say which one type of AC unit is the most efficient without first evaluating your personal needs. For many, a window-mounted unit blowing cold air into a single room is sufficient. That same unit is relatively inexpensive to operate and simple to clean, but it only provides cool air in a single room. It’s a significant drawback for many homeowners seeking a cooling solution for the whole home. Central air conditioning systems are more expensive, larger, and require more power to operate. However, the cooling zones are more significant. A single system can cool the entire home year-round. You may pay a little more per month, but you’re receiving a steady supply of cool air throughout each room. Determining which air conditioning system is right for you is often a personal preference. For air conditioning installation and maintenance services, call Duggan's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® at (706) 914-1617.