Small air conditioning units can be the perfect solution for many situations. These convenient appliances can be quite useful in keeping small volumes of indoor air cool during warmer months. However, they’re not always the best idea to address the need for cooler indoor air—in fact, small air conditioning units can actually be counterproductive when it comes to efficiency and cost of operation.
To help clear up some confusion surrounding the most practical use of small air conditioning units, the AC professionals at Front Range HVAC are serving up three things you need to know about smaller-sized air conditioning appliances.
#1: A window-mounted AC unit is not the only alternative to central AC.
Many believe that they need to sacrifice a window to use as an installation location for small AC units. While this can be a fitting solution for some, a ductless AC alternative might actually make more sense. Ductless AC systems may cost more than window-mounted units, however, they have much higher cooling capacity and can actually cool much more than just a room or two.
Moreover, ductless AC units can be much quieter than traditional, window-mounted AC units, and they can even be suspended from the ceiling in order to conserve space and optimize ergonomics.
Lastly, installing window-mounted AC units often means compromising the safety of the room in question. After all, there’s an open window that stays open so the AC unit can operate. Even though removing the AC unit to break in might require some effort, it can certainly be done by a thief who is motivated enough.
By comparison, most ductless AC systems only require a small air inlet port that is served by an external evaporator. This small inlet won’t allow for a human being to fit, unlike the window-mounted solution.
#2: If you do decide to install a window-mounted AC unit, be prepared for the loss of natural light.
Few people anticipate what a room is going to look like once a window-mounted AC unit is installed. We don’t even mean the look of the AC unit itself—more to the point, it’s the loss of natural light that ends up affecting the room so significantly.
This is because the window-mounted AC unit is going to itself block light from the would-be window in addition to the sizing membrane that is used to create an airtight seal around the unit. So, what ends up happening is that the room instantly loses up to 50% of the natural light that was illuminating it before the AC unit was installed.
To address this, consider adding a skylight or an additional light source or two. Also, try to make use of softer, more natural-looking light that is provided by fixtures and bulbs that are designed to replace sunlight. These arrangements may cost more, but they’ll go a long way in countering the effect of lower natural light due to the new AC unit.
#3: Remember that small air conditioning units will often need ongoing maintenance and/or replacement.
The refrigerant cycling systems that are part of most smaller air conditioning systems are not as long-lasting as central AC systems. It’s not uncommon for many of these smaller units to fail after a year or two of operation, especially in environments that have perpetually warm months year-round.
It’s common for many smaller AC units to slowly leak the refrigerant they need to cool the outside air they bring inside. Also, because of their smaller size, the filters used by these smaller units to keep particulate matter from getting indoors need fairly regular cleaning or replacements.
Due to these two factors—deteriorating refrigerant levels and less-efficient air filtering—smaller AC units will often require much more maintenance than central AC or building-wide systems.
At Front Range HVAC, We Keep Colorado Cool
There’s a lot to know about choosing and installing the right AC solution to suit your unique needs. Every building, budget, and preference is different customer-to-customer, which is why we put in extra effort in understanding your needs and matching them with the most affordable and highly efficient AC solutions available on the market today.
When you want the very best in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning expertise, choose Front Range HVAC. Our team of AC experts is standing by to answer your questions and provide a free, no-obligation quote for the AC solution that works best for you. Contact us today; we look forward to earning your business and becoming your go-to resource for all things AC-related.