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A/C unit vs. Window Units

The 2 main factors when deciding to purchase anything come down to cost and efficacy. The cost for a window unit might seem low at first but how efficient is it?


There is more to it than the initial cost of an air conditioning unit such as: monthly costs, operational experiences, as well as maintenance and repairs. When choosing the best unit for your home, it is important to consider a unit that will not be so hard on your pocket in the long run. Purchasing and maintaining several window units will be cheaper at the beginning but far more expensive than a central air conditioner in the long term. There are other costs to put into consideration, such as the monthly electricity bills and operational costs. When choosing the best unit for your home, go for a unit that will not be so hard on your pocket in the long run. Purchasing and maintaining several window units will be more expensive than buying and maintaining a central air conditioner.


How well an A/C unit performs will have a huge impact on the cost of the unit. This includes things like the air conditioner’s tonnage and how well it is sized for the square footage in order to maintain comfortable room temperatures. You want an air conditioner that can perform at its peak condition without using a lot of energy. The bigger the home, the more powerful the air conditioner should be. This is especially important if you live in a hot climate. A/C units for example, run for much of the year and can rack up hundreds of dollars difference if inefficient.

The Central Air Conditioner

Central air is like one huge refrigerator that cools down and maintains the indoor temperatures of your entire house.

The central air conditioner absorbs the hot indoor air and passes it over coils that contain the refrigerant. The refrigerant then absorbs heat from the indoor air and cools it to the programmed temperature set by your thermostat. The cooled air is then released back into the room. One central air conditioner can maintain different temperatures in multiple rooms with the help of a thermostat.

Thermostats monitor room temperatures and communicate the information to the central air conditioning system which then regulates the amount of cooled air to each room.

Pros of Central Air Conditioners

Easy Automation and Consistent Room


As mentioned earlier, one central air conditioner can cool multiple rooms at once with the help of a network of vents and thermostats ( this is a huge advantage over the window unit). This means that all rooms will have a constant supply of cool air throughout the year. This is very useful in hot areas or places that experience hot climatic conditions for most of the year.

Plus, modern central air conditioners are automated. You don’t have to manually turn them off or on.

Supply of Healthy Indoor Air

Research shows that the air indoors typically contains 5 times more toxins than the air outside. Central air conditioners have inbuilt filters in the ducts that automatically filter your indoor air before cooling and releasing it back into the room. Modern air conditioners even have micro-particle filters a

nd dehumidifiers that “purify” indoor air.

Air Cooling and Heating Combo

Central air conditioners are now able to cool or heat your indoor air. You’ll find them useful in areas that experience cold and hot seasons. There’s no need to buy and install an electric heater when you have one of these. You’ll save a lot of money that would have been used in buying and maintaining an extra unit.

Cons of Central Air Conditioners

It wouldn’t be a fair comparison if we didn’t address some of the drawbacks that come with purchasing and installing a central air unit.

High Upfront Costs

This is the main reason people shy away from central air conditioners. Central air conditioners require larger investments than window units. You’ll have to think hard and weigh your options before you reach out for one of these.

If you’re planning to cool more than 5 rooms, then one central air conditioner will be cheaper in the long run. The cost of 5 window units is more than enough to pay the down payment of a central ac unit. Remember that one central air conditioner is more efficient than several window units.

Window Unit Air Conditioners

Window units work on a smaller scale. One window unit can only serve one room at a time. Whether the air conditioner cools the room efficiently depends on the size ratio between the two. These units are installed in windows.

Pros of Window Units

They’re Cheaper

You must have seen this coming. Everything from the purchasing price to installation and maintenance is way cheaper with window units than central air conditioners. However, it is only cheaper at the beginning. Remember, the price is directly proportional to the quality and size of the air conditioner.

Note: It’s important to know your room’s size before you go shopping. For higher efficiency, your room’s dimensions need to be compatible with the air conditioner’s power.

Easy (and Cheap) Installation

It’s very easy to install a window unit. All you need is a window. You can even do it yourself without calling a professional. Just follow the manufacturer’s manual. Ask for help when lifting and fastening the unit (It might fall off the window if you’re not careful).

Note: During installation, make sure you properly insulate the window. This will go a long way in ensuring your unit performs at its peak performance. Also, make sure it’s firmly fastened to prevent vibrational damage.

Multipurpose (Heating and Cooling Units)

Just like central air conditioning units, modern window units are also capable of working as heaters in the cold seasons.

Cons of Window Air Conditioning Units

Of course, windowed units can only serve one room at a time. It will also be more expensive buying several units (more than 5). In such a case, you’re better off saving for a central air conditioner.


This is likely to be a problem if your room or apartment is on the ground floor. Not only will could some thieves be tempted to steal your unit, but it will also leave some window space that can be used to easily break into your house.

Installation-Related Problems

Sure, it’s very easy to install one of these. However, you need to be careful. A loosely installed window unit can easily fall and break or hurt someone. Also, you’ll lose access to the window where the unit is installed. This could be a problem if it’s the only window in the room.

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