Window Units vs. Central Air Conditioning: What’s Better?

Determining the best choice to keep your home cool can be tricky. Perhaps you have found yourself in a predicament and need to decide whether a central air conditioning system or a window unit is the best option for your home. Maybe this isn’t the case at all, and you’ve just always wondered, what’s better when it comes to window units and central air conditioning? Well, wonder no more as you continue reading this breakdown of pros and cons from your Beavercreek Heating & Cooling experts.  


If you are weighing the pros and cons of window units versus central air conditioners, factor in these two things to help you make a better decision on what may be the optimal choice for your home and family:  

  1. NUMBER ONE: EFFICIENCY- This is such a crucial factor to consider. Just because a cooling unit works does not mean it is energy-efficient and the best choice for your home. The type of unit you decide to use must be weighed according to its efficiency in cooling your home. Things you will have to consider concerning efficiency are the size of the unit and its ability to maintain the temperature in your home. Furthermore, remember that the bigger your home is, the higher-powered your cooling unit needs to be.   
  1. NUMBER TWO: COSTS- Upfront costs aren’t the only thing you should consider. Of course, at this point, you probably have a budget in mind on how much you are willing to pay for a cooling unit. But please bear in mind that other costs will affect you in the long run. So, when choosing a more budget-friendly unit due to its upfront cost, you may end up draining your wallet even further in the long run with relentlessly high energy bills.   


Let’s start with the pros. One window unit can sufficiently cool one room, so it’s a 1:1 ratio. It’s good to note that window units (as the name implies) can be installed in windows and on walls. Depending on the layout of the room you are considering installing it in, this can prove advantageous. Since we know that window units work on smaller scales, it probably goes without saying that they are significantly cheaper in their upfront costs. Installation and maintenance are much less expensive and time-consuming. But as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for.” So, take this into consideration when choosing a window unit. Don’t just choose the cheapest option available. There are high-quality window units available on the market. But also, be sure that you are selecting a unit that is proportionate to the size of the room in which it will be installed. A few other benefits are that window unit installation is easy, especially if you are handy. Most models come with instructions from the manufacturer. In addition, the modern models are multipurpose and can also function to heat a room as well! Isn’t that nifty? Technology sure has come a long way!  

Of course, with every list of “pros” also comes a list of “cons.” So, let’s take a look at the downside of using window units too. For example, if you choose to utilize window units and install more than five windows to cool several rooms in your home, you will end up paying more in energy costs than what you would pay for with a central air conditioner. Security-wise, window units may not be the safest option due to the hole they leave gaping in the wall or window of your home. In addition, you won’t be able to utilize the window that the window unit is installed in. So, be sure to keep that in mind if you are prone to opening windows often.  


Now on to the pros of central air conditioning! As you know, central air conditioning is one large unit that works together with multiple HVAC components to provide cooling power that cools your whole home sufficiently. Unlike window units, central air conditioning can cool a whole home instead of just one room per unit. An added benefit is that thermostats are one of these components that make for an easy automation process to manage your home’s temperature consistently. Plus, since they are automated, you won’t have to keep turning them off or on as you would a window unit.  

Like window units have their cons list, so do central air conditioning systems. It wouldn’t be right to let you think otherwise. The first con we’d like to address is the most apparent – high upfront costs! Due to the much larger price tag, many homeowners may hesitate to jump with both feet causing them to look for other options. In addition, if your home does not already have vents and ductwork, this is another rather large expense that must be factored in. Depending on the size of your home, having this job done may cost almost as much as the cooling system itself. So, if your home does not already have these, you will want to plan accordingly for your spending budget. But don’t let that discourage you; there is a bright side! Having a central air system installed in your home will most assuredly raise your home’s resale value. So, this is definitely something that should be weighed when discerning between the two types of units.  

All in all, when deciding between a window unit or central air conditioning, it really comes down to whether you are trying to cool one room or an entire home. Remember that using multiple window units to cool your home may cost just as much or even more than the cost of paying for central air. If you have more questions or would like to book a free estimate, call Beavercreek Heating & Cooling today at (937) 708-8527, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!