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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

Tips on picking the right air conditioner.


Size it correctly

An air conditioner that’s too small won’t do a good job cooling a room. One that’s too big cools the area so quickly that it doesn’t have time to remove enough moisture, so it leaves you with a cold, clammy space.

Window air conditioners typically have cooling capacities ranging from 5,000 to 12,500 British Thermal Units (BTUs). But don’t buy by BTU alone. As a rule of thumb, an air conditioner needs 20 BTU for each square foot of living space but there are other considerations such as the height of your ceiling and the size of your windows and doorways. To measure your room, multiply the length of the room by the width. Sunset Air recommends that you add more capacity if the unit is in a sunny window or if it will be placed in a kitchen.

Note the noise

Models that scored excellent or very good in our noise tests are so quiet that the only sound you might hear is the fan running. But air conditioners that scored fair for noise could disturb light sleepers when set on low and are distracting on high.

Factor in the window location

Air conditioners generally do a better job blowing air in one direction than in the other. That can be a problem if your window isn’t centered on the wall. To uniformly cool a room, you’ll need to direct air to its center, so check whether your A/C needs to blow air to the right or to the left.

Check the warranty

Some air conditioners have longer warranties than others. When you’re buying a new unit, check the manufacturer’s website for information and then ask the retailer about the warranty for that model and brand.

Install it correctly

To get the most from your window air conditioner, install it right. Most units are intended for double-hung windows. If you have casement windows, you may want to consider a through-the-wall air conditioenr. Make sure your window unit is level so it drains correctly. And move any heat-generating devices such as a TV or lamp away from the unit. If you have problems installing please call us and we will have a technician help you maximize it’s effectiveness.

Consider convenience

Make sure you can easily access the filter for cleaning, something you’ll be doing frequently to keep the unit in tip-top condition. Most of the time a better option is to have a central air conditioning system installed.

For information on Central Air Conditioners, give us a call at 360-456-4956

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