Central Air Conditioner vs Window Unit - Which AC is Best For Me?

When you decide its time to install an air conditioner in your home, you may not have realized just how many choices there are available. Not only do you need to choose a brand of air conditioner, but also a method. There are pros and cons to both central air conditioning and window units. If you're trying to decide what style of unit is right for you, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Do you own your home?

Installing central air in your home can be pricey—and if you rent your landlord probably won't be paying you back any time soon. When your lease is up, you may end up having to relocate to a new home, and your central air won't be going anywhere. On the flip side, a window unit can be removed and taken with you, so you'll have your AC no matter where you go.

If you own your own home, central air is a better option. Not only will it keep your whole house cooler, it'll also add resale value to your home if you decide to move later.

Do you need the whole house cool, or just one or two rooms?

How much of the house you need to cool off is also a big factor in pricing. A window unit is the most cost effective solution if you just need to cool off a couple of rooms. Window units can run anywhere from $126 to $900, where a full central AC system could cost as much as $10,000.

If you need the entire house cool, central AC may end up being a better buy. It depends largely on how much room your house has, and how the home is set up. You can easily figure out which one is best for you by having an HVAC technician come and look over your home. They can make recommendations based on the unique design of your home, as give you an idea on how much it will cost.

How long will you be using it?

Do you see yourself in this home a year or more down the road? If you don't plan to stay in the home long, it doesn't make sense to go to the expense of purchasing central air. If you just need a quick fix to get you through until you're on to something else, a window unit will be the best option for you.
On the flipside, if you plan to spend a few years in the home, central air will end up being more affordable over the long run. Window units tend to be very inefficient, and can leak your cool air into the outdoors before you've even gotten a chance to use it. It's as if you are throwing money out the window.
That's okay if you just need to get through one summer, but probably not if you need to get through ten summers.

In the end, the decision is up to you what you will pick. With big expenditures like new AC for your home, taking your time to come to the right decision is always a good choice. There's no rush—as long as you can take the heat until you make up your mind.

Ready to install a cooling system? Hire our Frontier techs!

Our team of experts can provide free in-home price estimates and make sure your installation is done correctly, from start to finish. Schedule an appointment today!