window air conditioner, portable AC

Air conditioners industry has changed significantly over the past few years. Though the main function is still the same, there are many other added function than only cooling the air. There are more things you need to understand before you make decision to buy one. I will write a quick list on what are important to look for when you ought to purchase air conditioner.

BTU Output

Every air conditioner is designed with different cooling capacity, which often called BTU (British Thermal Unit). You need to choose carefully which BTU output is considered proper size to cool your room. Because if you get the wrong size, you cannot send it back to the store you bought the unit. Greater BTU are made for greater room size. That’s why if you run bigger BTU size than what your room needed, the AC will cycle off too often and may leave humidity. But if it’s too small, the AC will work too hard while still not adequately cool the room. Though many air conditioner company always mention how many square footage its products can handle, they usually overrated it by 1,000 or even more BTUs. I suggest you to buy 1,000 BTUs more than what the company suggested.

Chassis Type

There are 2 models of chassis you need to know.

what to look for when buying air conditioner

Slide Out Chassis

  1. Fixed Chassis. The most popular model, and usually lighter. It’s a typical window air conditioner that you usually know.
  2. Slide-Out Chasis. This model usually called through the wall air conditioner. It is usually installed in through a wall sleeve, but this can be sometimes used in normal window application. It offers simplicity for you to do maintenance and replacement of your window air conditioner.


It’s a standard feature you have to look when buying home appliance. At least you need to look for one year warranty including parts and labor.

Variable Speed Fan

Having this feature can help to reduce fan noise and also increase efficiency system. Look for 3 settings minimum.

Adjustable or Oscillatting Louvers

This will help direct the wind to where you want it. However if you bought window air conditioner, you need to place it carefully, since it’s not really good to spread out the wind to any direction.

Digital Display and Electronic Controls

Having digital display, will give an ease to control the temperature and many other setting, because usually an air conditioner with digital display will be supported with remote control. It’s most needed when you have one big room.

Filters and Air Purifier

Filters need to stay clean, in order for air conditioner to work efficiently. That’s why you need to look for washable filters feature. Don’t bother buying an air conditioner that hard to clean and wash. Though sometimes you need to replace the filters, at least it’s not too often.

Some products are boasting their ionic cleaning and air purifier. Ionizing air can help your filters to stay clean for more times. If your unit got an air purifier function, you should make sure your room vacuumed regularly, in order to ensure optimal cleanliness.

24 hour Timer

Being able to set automatically when your air conditioner will run and when it off, will help to maintain the efficiency of your electricity bills. Though some unit only offer 12 hour timer, I suggest you to look for 24 hour timer.

Dehumidifier Functionality

Some air conditioning unit offers dehumidifier functionality which are very helpful feature during late Spring or early Fall. At that times, cooling your home is not always necessary, that’s why this feature can provide extended comfort.

Quiet Mode

I think mostly people put an air conditioner on during their sleeping time. Having a quiet whispering noise off course are much better than loud noisy voice. Some units are equipped with this feature, which ensure sleeping comfort for you.

Heat Pump Mode

Usually big BTU units have heat pump mode, which can run reverse mode than most air conditioner do. During winter, having this kind of air conditioner is a fortune.  

That’s all from me, I hope these tips on what to look for when you buy an air conditioner, can help you deciding which one will perfectly suit for your needs.