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Central Air vs. Window Air Conditioning

by VitalStorm Content on May 24, 2019

central air vs. window air conditioning

When you are making decisions about buying a new house or upgrading temperature control in your own home, it can be difficult to decide between central air vs. window air conditioning.

While central AC forces air through ducts to effectively cool your entire house at once, window units cool specific rooms or areas. Central air tends to cost more to install upfront, but you might wonder, is it worth the extra cost? Which type of cooling is more energy efficient?

At Blue Flame, we have installed countless HVAC systems and window AC units for our customers in the Seattle area. Here are our answers to all of your questions about central air vs. window air conditioning.

Benefits of Central Air

In order to compare and contrast central air vs. window air conditioning, it helps to know some of the advantages to each option. Here are a few reasons why some homeowners prefer a central HVAC system.

  • Even Cooling Distribution

Central air systems include an outdoor HVAC unit and internal ductwork that carries cool or warm air throughout the house. With vents in every room, it allows for the most even distribution of temperature-controlled air.

  • Humidity Control

Central AC doesn’t just cool your home, it also ensures that your indoor air maintains the correct humidity levels. This prevents moisture damage to paint, wood, and furniture and halts mold growth. An alternative solution for homes without central air would be to purchase a dehumidifier.

  • Home Resale Value

Adding central air is definitely an investment. But in addition to providing even cooling and humidity control, it also adds demonstrable value to your property. Buyers will see central air as a positive asset, and it will allow you to ask for a higher offer on your home if you choose to sell in the future.

Benefits of Window AC Units

  • Low Cost

The number one reason why some homeowners choose window AC units over central air is that they are much less expensive initially. While an HVAC system typically costs between $6,000 – $12,000 for an air conditioner, a heater, ductwork, and labor – window AC units cost $150 – $500 depending on their size and features.

  • Flexibility

When you turn on your central air, it will cool your entire house to the same temperature. But with window AC units, you can easily customize the temperature for each room. For example, if you are watching TV in the living room after work, you can turn on the window AC in that room and leave the other units turned off. When you go to bed, you can do the same thing by turning on the unit in the bedroom.

Central Air vs. Window Air Conditioning: Which One is More Energy Efficient?

The last factor to consider when deciding between central AC and a window AC unit is the overall energy efficiency. This greatly depends on how you will be using your AC.

A central HVAC unit obviously drains more energy than one window unit. However, multiple window units running at the same time can actually burn up more energy than simply pumping air through your ductwork.

This means that if you plan on using window AC units in one room at time, they will be the more cost effective option when it comes to your energy bill. But if every member of your family has a window AC unit running in 3 or more different rooms, central air will actually be a more efficient choice.

Choosing the Right AC For Your Home

At Blue Flame, we recommend central air conditioning to our customers because it offers the most even supply of cool air and contributes to the overall value of your home. But the only one who can truly know which type of AC is right for your home – is you.

If you are interested in learning more about central air vs. window air conditioning, give us a call anytime. One of our expert technicians will be happy to go over the pros and cons of HVAC installation for your home and lifestyle.

At Blue Flame, we are committed to an exceptional and eco-friendly experience every time you use our heating, air conditioning, and electrical services. Call us at (206) 388-5667 and speak to a member of our team.