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How do I choose an air conditioner?

An AJ Madison appliance expert describes the different types of room air conditioners. Watch and learn which air conditioner type is right for your space.

Will an air conditioner with higher BTU cool my room faster?

BTUs determine how much cold air comes out of the unit, but problems can occur if the air conditioner is oversized for the space. The more cold air that comes out – the more area it needs to circulate to avoid giving the thermostat a false reading. If the unit is oversized, the cold air bounces off the wall back onto itself giving the thermostat a false reading – causing the compressor to shut off because the thermostat reads that the set temperature has been achieved. While the unit is off – the thermostat is able to read the room’s actual temperature, which kicks the compressor back on. This process will continue, causing the compressor to cycle off and on every two to three minutes, but never staying on long enough to effectively cool the room or remove uncomfortable humidity. Use AJ Madison’s BTU calculator to find the correct amount of BTUs for the area you would like to cool. This chart can also be used as a general guide. When cooling rooms with poor insulation, great rooms, or southern or western sun exposures, step up to the next BTU size.

Room Size BTU
Sq. Ft. Sq. m  
150 14 up to 5,000
165 15 5,200
216 20 6,000
350 33 8,000
425 39 9,000
500 46 10,000
640 60 14,000
900 84 15,100
1,110 103 18,000
1,170 109 18,500
1,435 133 22,000
1,672 154 25,000
1,960 182 28,500

What is the difference between manual and electronic controls?

Manual controls will have a knob where you set the temperature to low, medium, or high. Electronic controls have a touchpad and a digital display which allows you to set the unit to a specific temperature. The unit has to have electronic controls for use of a remote control.

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Could you explain the difference from between electric heat and a heat pump?

When a unit says that there is electric heat there is a heat strip in the unit that uses the fan to distribute the heat. Electric heat is meant to subsidize an existing heat source. A heat pump function is similar to an air conditioner, however, instead of cooling the air like it would in the summer it heats the air and redistributes it into the room. It often will not work when it is colder than 40 degrees (except some PTAC and Ductless Splits) outside, but some units have electric heat backup. If heat is very important to you a PTAC or Ductless Split unit could be your best choice. Please look at the air conditioner description or call us at 1-800-570-3355 to talk with an air conditioning expert.

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What does Energy Star mean?

Energy star is a government backed program that tests products energy efficiency. Products that meet strict energy efficiency requirements determined by the EPA and the US Department of Energy are labeled as Energy Star.

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What are EER and SEER Ratings?

The higher the Energy Efficiently Rating (EER), the more efficient the air conditioner. The EER of an air conditioner is determined by how many BTUs per hour are used for each watt of power. Air conditioners with a higher EER usually are accompanied by a higher price tag but cost less to run. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) is commonly used to measure central and ductless air conditioning. All air conditioners must have a SEER rating of at least 10 to be sold in the United States. Air conditioners that are Energy Star have higher EERs and SEERs.

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What is a chassis? What is the difference between a fixed chassis and slide-out chassis?

A chassis is the frame that supports the guts of an air conditioner. When the air conditioner is described as a fixed chassis, the chassis does not slide out – these air conditioners are for window installation only. Air conditioners with slide-out chassis can be installed into a window or a wall. They are easier to repair because the inside of the machine is easily accessed by sliding out the chassis.

How do I determine the noise level?

All air conditioners will make some sort of noise however the air conditioners on the market have been engineered to be quieter than older units. Friedrich air conditioners are known to be the quietest room air conditioners in the industry. Ductless split air conditioning systems are quietest type of air conditioner since the compressor is outside the home.

What are air flow and output options?

This determines how you can move the vents to determine where the air flows in your room. Air deflection means that you can move the vents to the side and up and down manually. Air swing means that the vents move electronically.

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What are fan settings?

Air conditioners come with many levels of setting some just come with two settings (on and off) or with more like low, medium, and high.

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How do I determine my plug type or how many volts I need?

Your plug type will let you know how many volts you need. You can compare your outlet to see how many volts you need and also what type of plug your air conditioner requires.

Plug Type Shop 5-15P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop 6-30P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop L15-20P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop 5-20P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop 6-50P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop L15-30P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop 6-15P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop 7-20P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop L16-20P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop 6-20P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop 7-30P Plug Type Air Conditioners Shop L16-30P Plug Type Air Conditioners

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