Central Air Conditioner or Room Air Conditioner?


For anyone who is considering purchasing a new air conditioner, it is important to determine what type is right for your home. There are two basic types of air conditioning units — room air conditioners and central air conditioners. Both serve the same purpose in keeping you cool during the hottest days in Largo, FL. Both have pros and cons and a few differences, and it is worth exploring these details so that you can decide which type is more appropriate for your home and keeping your family cool and comfortable.

Generally speaking, both types of air conditioners are good for cooling your home. However, you will have to take a few factors into consideration, such as the size of your home, the room where you want a unit installed,  and how much money you want to spend.

In many instances, a room air conditioner can suffice just fine. A room air conditioner is just that, a unit that is installed in a specific room to keep it cool when the weather grows hot. It is typically fitted and installed in a window in a room and is called a “room air conditioner” because it stays in that room only and does not have the power to cool beyond that room. This type of unit requires a standard electrical outlet for power and does not need any special wiring like more heavy-duty units. It is the appropriate type for many homes, especially those that are smaller and have fewer residents. Room air conditioners work by pulling in warm air from outdoors and cooling it with refrigerant. When you are choosing a room air conditioner for your home, it is important to ensure that you get one that is appropriate for the specific room in which you plan on using it. A unit that is too small in a larger room will not adequately cool, while one that is large and is installed in a relatively small room will cause your energy bills to skyrocket and you will feel overly cold.

An air conditioner’s cooling power is determined by BTUs (British thermal units). In other words, the less the BTUs, the less power the unit has in cooling. Most smaller units carry around 5,000 BTUs, while larger air conditioners can range up to 20,000 BTUs. To determine what unit is best for you, you must multiple the area of your room by length and width and then add 10 percent if the room has high ceilings or is very sunny.

Central air conditioning cools the entirety of your home. It does this due to a condenser that is outside when it is installed, plus ductwork that utilizes a fan and coil system that allows cool air to penetrate every room. In general, central air conditioning units work with a forced-air furnace and duct systems. You will need to determine what unit is appropriate for the size of your home as they are also measured in BTUs. At times, the word “tonnage” will also be used to refer to a central air conditioner. In most cases, a professional contractor or HVAC specialist will have to calculate what size unit is best for your home. Central air conditioners are of course more expensive than room air conditioners.