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Window ACs vs. Whole-Home ACs: What’s Better?

A window air conditioning unit with gold spray insulation foam

Window or Central Air

Two of the most popular home cooling options are window and central air conditioning. These both offer ways to cool down your home when it’s hot, but they do that in very different ways.

Window AC units are mounted in a window (there are also similar units that are mounted in a wall). They distribute air at a single point and are usually placed around your home. Central air uses one unit at a specific location, and then uses a series of ducts to send the cool air around your home.

Window AC

A window AC is a great option for small homes, condominiums, and apartments. They provide a steady stream of cool air and can cool a room down pretty quickly. Also, they have a much lower upfront cost, don’t require ductwork, and are easy to install and maintain.

However, they do come with a lot of downsides. Cooling an entire home with window air conditioners is much less efficient than central air. You would spend more money on energy this way, and wouldn’t have as much control over your home temperature. No one wants the inconvenience of turning a bunch of air conditioners on and off all day.

Central AC

Central air is ideal for most homes in warmer or mixed climates. The central system allows you to control the temperature from a thermostat and adjust the temperature to your liking. It also allows the whole home to adjust all at once, providing much more efficient cooling than with window units.

The window units you would need to cool a three or more room home use a lot more energy than one central air unit, making efficiency key in the debate over which is better. Central air also adds value to your home if you decide to sell in the future.

The major downside for central air is the upfront cost. It’s not cheap to have a central air unit installed, but that cost needs to be weighed with the cost of running window units instead. Also, central air relies on efficient ductwork. Ducts with holes, cracks, broken pieces and other damages will reduce the efficiency of your system and increase the cost.

Skilled Technicians for Your AC Needs

At West Coast Air Conditioning, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality AC service from a team of experienced technicians. Contact us today at (805) 954-9195 to make an appointment for AC service or maintenance.