Window Unit Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps
Window Unit Air Conditioners are a popular way of providing cooling in small to medium sized rooms. Window unit air conditioners are easy to install and usually only require someone with the strength to lift the unit into a window and secure it. Then you plug it in and turn it on. Its that simple and is the closest thing to plug and play air conditioning you can find.
Window Unit Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps – Types of Window Units
Window units also come in heat pump configurations so you can also use it for heating. Another type of window unit that will provide heating are window units with electric heat strips inside for heating in heat winter time. If you are going to purchase a window unit and you want the heating option make sure you look for specifically for a window unit that provides heating as well as air conditioning. If you live in the north climates it will be better to get a window unit with electric heat. If you live in the southern regions the better and more cost efficient system would be a heat pump window unit.
Available Electric Power for the Window Unit Air Conditioner
When installing a window unit there are some considerations to factor when selecting a new air conditioner window unit. The first factor is think about available electric outlet near the window. If you have to run an extension cord across the room to power your new air conditioner it is probably not a good factor for locating a window unit there. You can either run the extension cord to power the unit or have an outlet installed in that location. A good electrician can install a new outlet for you efficiently and quickly. It will a good thing to have basic information for the electrician like the size of the unit, the required amperage of the unit, and the volts of the unit. Most modern window units are 120 volt units so a standard wall outlet will satisfy the job but it is important that the amp draw of the unit be factored in this decision. Most wall outlets are simply 15 amp circuits and a window unit can exceed that 15 amps depending on the size of the unit. It is important to do some research before purchasing the unit of the amps and volts necessary for the window unit air conditioner you intend on buying so that the proper outlet is available before you install the window unit.
Window Unit Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps – Sizing the Window Unit Air Conditioner
The rule of thumb for sizing HVAC Systems including window units is that you need one ton for every five hundred square feet. If the home is tight with little heat loss or heat gain the size can go to one ton for every six hundred square feet. This is only a rule of thumb and does not take into account several factors for properly sizing air conditioning systems. Many unit units are fractional ton units but there are some manufacturers that produce window unit air conditioners up to three tons. 12,000 BTU’s equal one ton so break out the calculator and figure out the approximate size of window unit you need to cool the intended space where the window unit air conditioner will be located.
Window Unit Heat Pumps
Window units come in a variety of sizes both dimensionally and in BTU output ratings. Many people do not know that window units also come in different types. There are windows units that offer air conditioning and heating. Some window units have electric heat back up for the heat but there are also heat pump window units available for heating and cooling. The window unit heat pump is a little more expensive to purchase than a straight air conditioner window unit or an air conditioner window unit with electric heat strips but the additional cost with the purchase of a window unit heat pump is usually offset by the savings realized in heating with a heat pump versus heating with electric heat strips.
Electric heat strips are 100% efficient but the consume a lot of electricity to generate the heat while a heat pump is all electric also the ration of energy input is better than the ratio of energy input for electric heat strips and what you get back for heat. That is as long as the temperature outside is not less than 38 degrees F. Nearly all heat pumps have back-up heat and this back-up heat is normally electric heat strips. In windows unit heat pumps it always electric heat strips used for the back-up heat. In many air to air heat pump applications when the temperature outside drops below 38 degrees F. it becomes necessary to supplement the heat pump with a back-up source of heat because the heat pump will stop producing enough heat to keep the space heated to set point.
Heat pumps use the refrigeration cycle to generate heat. In the process of refrigeration the machine uses a medium (usually refrigerant) to move heat from one place to another. With a heat pump the process of refrigeration works by pulling heat from the outside air in the winter and moving it indoors and in the summer it pulls heat from the air inside the space and rejects this heat outside. This makes the use of heat pumps ideal in geographical regions where the temperature does not go below 38 degrees F. too often. If you live in a geographical region where the climate is not so harsh in the winter and you need a window unit that can also provide heating then a window unit heat pump is a better option than purchasing a window unit with only electric heating capabilities. HVAC Manufacturers that make window unit heat pumps are many.
General Electric, Carrier, Friedrich, Amana, LG Electronics, Pace and many others all compete by offering window unit air conditioner and heat pumps. If you are looking for a window unit heat pump you may want to shop around first. You can also check out some HVAC equipment reviews for reviews on window unit heat pumps or other heating and cooling options available for heating and cooling single zones. By studying the options available to you you can make a good solid and wise decision that will lead to many years of comfort provided by your new HVAC air conditioner or heat pump system. Good Luck to you!
More about air conditioning can be found here.