Pros and Cons of an AC Window Unit

June 19, 2023

Most homes have central air conditioning. But for some people, it isn’t the most affordable or preferred option. Window air conditioners are complete cooling systems that fit in a single window. They effectively cool a room on a hot day. If you don’t have central AC, ductwork doesn’t reach a specific room, or a fan isn’t enough to keep you cool, an AC window unit may help. Let's examine some pros and cons of installing an air conditioner window unit.

Pros of an AC Window Unit

These are some benefits of installing an air conditioner in a window:


Compared to central ACs and other HVAC options, window air conditioners are low in cost. On average, a window unit costs about $300. Different sizes are available. You’ll need to know the British Thermal Unit (BTU) rating of the one you purchase, which requires matching it with the room’s square footage. The price of the AC unit depends on:

  • Capacity: Larger rooms need higher-BTU ACs to cool them (and the higher the BTUs, the more expensive the AC unit will be). 

  • Brand: There are dozens of AC window unit manufacturers. High-quality brands and longer-lasting units cost more but deliver better value.

  • Features: Digital thermostats, adjustable fan speed, programmable timers, air direction controls, remote controls, and Energy-Star-rated units often come at a higher price.

Easy to Install

You don’t usually need an HVAC professional to install an air conditioner window unit. We recommend having at least one other person assist during the process. But following the instructions in the box should result in a successful installation. Be sure to read every step as installation can vary from one model to another. Nonetheless, the process is generally straightforward, whether you have a single or double window or another type of window opening. 

Energy Efficient

Check the energy efficiency ratio (EER) on the AC window unit’s label. The EER compares the unit’s cooling ability to how much energy it uses while running. Air conditioners with a higher rating can save more energy. Also, look for Energy Star certified products that meet specific efficiency standards. 

And if you have a central HVAC system, adding a window unit can yield savings that make up for its low cost since using your central unit less helps conserve energy.

Can Be Used in Any Room

You can place an AC window unit in any room with a window, whether in an apartment, bedroom, dorm room, or home office. A window unit can be uninstalled and reinstalled to meet your requirements. Therefore, you can remove one from a rarely used room and put it somewhere you need more cooling. 

If your central AC system wasn’t designed to cool an unoccupied room, but usage has changed, you can simply add a window unit without a costly HVAC expansion (which makes a window AC a great supplement).

Many AC Window Units Can Be Used Year-Round

Some window-mounted ACs provide cooling and heating. Dual-function models can be used during the summer or winter, so you don’t have to invest in other climate control solutions. There are also air conditioner window units that feature anti-microbial filters, HEPA filters, and other air purification elements that reduce organic pathogens, airborne particles, allergens, and odors. They can control temperature and indoor air quality during every season.

Conserve Space

A unit that fits in a window doesn’t take up floor space. Therefore, no square footage is compromised, as it can be with a portable AC unit or fan. An AC window unit is generally small and won’t interfere with activities in your home. 

Cons of an Air Conditioner Window Unit

Aside from the many benefits they provide, window units do have disadvantages, such as:

  • The window frame must be strong enough to hold the unit’s weight.

  • Electrical cables may be exposed to outside moisture and harsh conditions.

  • The AC unit will block the window, restricting fresh air and natural light.

  • Potential security risks; thieves can steal the unit and access your home.

  • If poorly installed, an AC window unit can fall out, potentially causing injuries below.

  • Window units are less efficient in larger homes and spaces (multiple units may be needed).

Contact Service Champions

We are the top choice for AC repair and installation in Northern California. Our technicians are highly experienced and trained to work with most brands of air conditioners. They can also help determine the best type of unit or system for your home. Whether you’re considering a central AC system or an air conditioner window unit, schedule a visit online or call us at 833-600-0991 today.

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