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Alternatives to central Air Conditioning: a Guide

Aire acondicionado de ventana
Aire acondicionado de ventana

This important information gives you Alternatives to central Air Conditioning. But how is an air conditioner tested by  Consumer Reports?

They test three sizes of window AIR CONDITIONING: small, medium, and large. They use a special chamber, adjust  size to fit the capacity of the A/C,  then they bring the temperature to 90°Fahrenheit and time how long it takes for AIR CONDITIONER to lower the temperature by 15 ° Fahrenheit.

They also measure how well AIR CONDITIONING maintains the set temperature,  how noisy is each unit at all the different settings.

There certainly are alternatives to central air conditioner, but you need to take all factors into consideration.

Factors to consider:


Models with excellent or very good scores on noise tests are so quiet that the only sound heard is from the fan. Air conditioners with acceptable noise scores could annoy those who sleep lightly when they are set to low and distract everyone when they are high.

Electric consumption

New air conditioners featuring the Energy Star badge have better insulators and clearer instructions that help ensure a good seal around the unit, minimizing leaks and improving efficiency.

Filter location

Make sure you have easy access to the filter for cleaning, which you will do frequently to keep the unit in top condition.


Your window air conditioner must be installed correctly. Most come for double-leaf windows. If you have casement windows, consider an air conditioner that goes through the wall. Make sure your window unit is leveled so it drains properly. Place it away from any heat-generating devices such as a TV or lamp.


Some air conditioners have longer warranties than others. When you understand a new unit, check this out and ask the seller about the warranty on the make and model you are thinking of buying

Smart cooling

Control del A/C desde el telefono
Control del A/C desde el telefono

Some air conditioners allow you to control and adjust them from your smartphone (SMARTPHONE) and you can even interconnect them to other air conditioners with each other in your home.

Get the best air conditioning for your needs

Start by determining the size of the unit you need for the space you want to cool, as well as where it is located.

Windows air conditioners in as Alternatives to central Air Conditioning tested by  CONSUMER REPORTS have cooling capacities from 5,000 to 12,500 BTUs (British Thermal Units).

To measure your room, multiply the length of the room by the width and note the height of your ceiling, place the unit, and the size of your windows and doors.

Other important factors:

Add 600 BTUs for each additional person.

If the unit is used in a kitchen, increase the capacity by 4,000 BTU.

Reduce 10% capacity if the room is shaded,

Increase 10% the capacity by .If the room is very sunny,

Which model is right for you?

Some tiny window units cost less than $ 200, might seem good Alternatives to central Air Conditioning, but they only serve to cool a very small space. If you need to cool a larger area, find equipment that is suitable for the area to be cooled.

Almost all window units tested by CONSUMER REPORTS are rated with Energy Star, which is granted to those equipments that perform 10% or better than those without this.

Window air conditioners

Aire acondicionado de ventana
Aire acondicionado de ventana

They work best when blowing air in one direction only, which can be a problem if the window is not in the center of the wall.

To cool a room evenly, air must blow toward its center; check if your air conditioner needs air to blow to the right or to the left. Some units have rotating grids.

Price: $ 350 to $ 600.
Between 9,800 and 12,500 BTUs of capacity.
It cools between 350 and 650 square feet.
Ideal for a large room, but their volume and weight make them difficult to install.

rice: $ 200 to $ 400.
Capacity: from 7,000 to 8,200 Btu.
250 to 400 s.f.

Price: $ 150 to $ 250.
From 5,000 to 6,500 BTUs.
100 to 300 s. f.

Portable air conditioning

Aire acondicionado portátil
Aire acondicionado portátil

Price: from $ 300 to $ 700.
They are designed for places where windows or building regulations prevent the installation of window units.
Capacity: 9,000 to 15,500 BTUs.

According to the latest air conditioning tests by Consumer Reports, this type of A/C are not as good at cooling as manufacturers claim.

Additionally, they are expensive and use more energy than similarly sized window units. And because all the mechanical mechanisms are in the room, controls become louder than window-mounted units.

MINI-SPLIT Air Conditioners (duct-less)

Mitsubishi mini-split A/C/
Mitsubishi mini-split A/C/

Price: from $ 1,000
They are a good option when air conditioning in a limited number of rooms without installing ducts, as you would with a central air system.
MINI-SPLIT systems are more expensive than portable or window units but less expensive than central air if only a few rooms are cooled.
MINI-SPLITs are excellent at cooling and are quieter indoors and outdoors than window air conditioners.
But if you are going to cool the entire house, a central air conditioning system is the most cost-effective option.

Source: Consumer Reports

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