Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summertime cooling - Room Air Conditioners

Room air conditioners are self-contained units that can be installed in a window, through a wall, or moved around on wheels. The smaller air conditioners are designed to cool the immediate area of a room. However, manufacturers are designing room air conditioners from 4,000 BTU/hour to over 30,000 BTU/hour. These larger-sized units will cool a larger area or cool multiple rooms in a home or office at one time.

The standard features are manual or electronic controls, straight cool only, electric heat and cooling, or reverse-cycle air conditioning (heat pump). Air flow circulating from the air conditioners discharge grill might have fixed, directional, or motorized louvers.

Some models are available with wireless remote control handheld units. The remote control makes it easier to control the on/off, fan speed, and temperature of the air conditioner from across the room. Room air conditioners are available in 120 volts or 230 volts.

To properly install a room air conditioner, it is strongly recommended that you follow the manufacturer's recommendations or call a qualified contractor or an authorized air conditioner service company to install the air conditioner. I have seen over the years many improperly installed air conditioners fall out of the window or wall.

Factors that should be taken into account when purchasing an air conditioner include the following:

  • Size
  • Energy rating
  • Location of air conditioner within the home or office
  • Location of the electrical outlet and voltage needed to run the air conditioner
To properly size a air conditioner for a room, I recommend that you pick up a copy of my book "Troubleshooting & Repairing Major Appliances 2nd edition" where I will explain to you how to size a room air conditioner for your home or office.

Please send me your how-to questions ( and I'll answer them in this forum, helping you decide if you can fix your appliances yourself or if you need to call a professional.

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