Graphic of Window AC UnitHigh temperatures indoors can be extremely painful to deal with.

When opening a window isn’t enough to cool down and paying for central air is out of the question, using a window air conditioner is the most efficient way to keep the air in your home cool and comfortable.

Other methods of temperature control can be very expensive, not to mention difficult to install.

Window units are the quick and easy solution, although many people overlook their value.

What Are Window Air Conditioners?

Window air conditioners, unlike central air systems, are cooling devices that serve only a specific area of the home.

A window unit is effortlessly installed into an existing window frame using its own weight and the window’s pane to keep it secure.

Depending on the BTUs, the age of the unit, and the insulation quality of the home it’s installed in, a good window air conditioner can cool a fairly large room in a rather short amount of time.

These types of temperature control machines are far more affordable than the average whole-house cooling system.

Window units are notorious for using energy efficiently, especially when compared to a central AC system.

Additionally, since window units are designed to fit snugly into existing architecture, their BTU output can be customized to accommodate the size of the room.

What Are The Benefits of Using a Window Air Conditioner?

The variety, albeit convenient, can create a bit of confusion for the average consumer.

Unfortunately, the sheer number of window air conditioner options is somewhat daunting and therefore finding the right one can be difficult.

By understanding what you should expect from a well-made window unit, you can sift through the choices to discover a device that’s perfect for your home (and your budget).

The following points are what you should consider when shopping for a new window air conditioner.

Remember, you often get what you pay for, but you should still get quite a lot. There are numerous benefits that when you choose this option over the others.

Below is a checklist of the things you should expect from the unit you buy.

You can also check out our list of the top window air conditioner units for every size room.

Affordable Cost

The unit you choose shouldn’t break the bank. It’s possible to get a very good window air conditioning machine for a few hundred dollars – less if you buy it used.

Keep in mind that the cost is usually a reflection of the machine’s quality as well as its square footage cooling power.

The initial purchase is not where the saving end though. Operating costs are super affordable ($20-30 per month), especially when compared to the operating cost of a central air conditioning system ($100-200 per month).

(TIP: To figure out how powerful you need your air conditioner to be, calculate the room’s square footage and double-check that your favorite unit has the BTUs to handle the job. Some manufacturers even have a BTU calculator on their site.)

Energy Efficiency

Window air conditioning units help people stay cool without spending a boatload of cash.

Most modern-day units have terrific EERs (energy efficiency ratios) – the measurement of how much energy is used to produce a sufficient cooling effect.

Go for a machine that has been “Energy-Star” certified because it means that the unit has been designed to maximize its energy output with minimal energy input.

These types of air conditioners cost the least amount to operate every month.

Easy Installation

Depending on the model you purchase, installing a window air conditioner is made to be quick and easy.

Unlike central air systems, no HVAC expertise is needed to get it up and running.

Step-by-step instructions are always included, as are all the parts needed for installation.

The simple, straight-forward process can be completed with success by even the clumsiest of homeowners.

All that’s required is opening a window, placing the unit inside, and securing it.

(TIP: Consider having a trusted friend or family member help you install your unit into the window, as some devices can be rather heavy.)

If you want to save the use of your window, you can install an alternate version of a window air conditioner inside a wall.

This through the wall air conditioner model vents the hot air out the back, rather than the sides, which is what a window unit does.

Check out our wall mounted AC unit page to find out more about these units.

Customized Cooling

Supplemental cooling is a technique used by savvy homeowners who are trying to save money on their energy bills, and it requires the use of a high-quality window air condition unit.

While keeping the central air system turned off, a high-performance window machine is then used to cool a specific, high-traffic space.

This method can save you thousands on your energy bills each year, not to mention allow you to control the temperature of each room based on your preferences.

(TIP: The customized cooling technique also gives longevity to your existing central air system because it allows it to take a break, even on the hottest days.)


A good air conditioning unit that’s made from a reputable manufacturer is typically designed to fit into varying window sizes: bedrooms, bathrooms, dorm rooms, porches, etc.

This means that a single unit can be moved throughout your home or business as needed.

But, if you want the most portability, you might want to consider one of these best indoor air conditioner units.

(TIP: Place your unit inside a window sill that is properly insulated to prevent the cool air from escaping.)


Some units on the modern market can actually function year-round if necessary, providing a cool breeze in the summer and warm draft in the winter.

Doubling as a quaint heater is not where the conveniences stop; high-end window units serve as HEPA-filtrated purifiers as well, removing debris and harmful particulates as it cools and/or heats the air – a terrific benefit during cold and flu season.

The Final Verdict

It’s not difficult to see how installing a good window air conditioning unit can be a lot smarter than paying for some overpriced professional to install central air.

All of us want to live happy and comfortable lives, but we won’t want to pay an arm and leg for it.

Keep your body temperature and energy bills from skyrocketing by choosing to benefit from a window air conditioning unit instead.