The efficiency of window units vs. central air is an ongoing debate There are many variables that come into play when determining which system is right for you. These include the size of your home, its insulation, and the average humidity of your climate.
Central Air Energy Usage
On average, a 2.5 ton central air conditioning unit uses about 3,500 watts to cool a typical 1,500-2,000 square foot home. A medium size window unit will use about 1,000 watts to cool an average 400 square foot room. If you’re looking to cool just one or two small spaces, a window unit can save some energy, however if you’re looking to cool more, a central air system will be more efficient, effective and save energy.
To make your central air condition even more efficient, consider installing a programmable thermostat, which can be set to increase the temperature in your home while you’re at work or on vacation as well as adjust it back before you arrive home.
Improve Home Insulation
Both central AC and window units need to be properly insulated to work at their best. Poorly insulated ducts can drastically reduce the efficiency of central air systems. Its a good idea to inspect duct work for holes, unsealed seams, and inproper insulation. A well insulated duct system will greatly improve the performance of your unit. If you’re looking to build a new home or are considering installing a new central air system, it's a goode idea to position the ducts inside the home’s conditioned envelope, as systems with ducts in unconditioned attics can lose about 20% of the cooling output.
On the contrary, window units need to have insulation installed around the unit to block hot air from seeping in from the outside. Air leaks can lead to longer run times and reduced efficiency.
Control Indoor Humidity
As residents of Hanover County and metro Richmond, we can attest to the fact that humidity is an issue during the summer months. The general consensus when describing an RVA summer is “it’s not the heat, but the humidity” that is so stifling. Unlike central ac, window units are not ideal for areas subject to high humidity because they tend to sweat, which can infuse the air with even more moisture. AC "sweat" can also makes it difficult to get a tight seal around the window unit, resulting in more hot and humid air coming in from the outside. If your unit is overworked, the sweat issue is an even larger problem, as it runs longer and less efficientl, and can create a cold clammy room.
Choosing Between Central & Window Air Conditioning
When it comes to your comfort, health and savings, the HVAC experts at Howell's Heating & Air believe central air conditioning systems win out. A well designed central air conditioning system is far more efficient at controlling humidity. It also provides the added benefit of filtering pollutants and allergens.
From a budgetary standpoint, if you’re looking to cool your whole home, rather than just one or two small rooms, central AC can help reduce your energy usage and lower your utility bills.
Want more insight on adding a central AC system to your home? Contact us online today for more information, or call 804.715.1995
source: infographic - Leffler Energy