It's fair to say that a proper air conditioning system is more of a necessity than a luxury for Australians, and the scorching temperatures of the average Australian summer mean that choosing a powerful, efficient air conditioner is key. However, there are a wide variety of different air conditioning types available to homeowners, and deciding which is right for your needs can be challenging.
One of the most popular types of air conditioner for home use is the window-mounted air conditioner, and these compact, effective air conditioning units can make your home a much more pleasant place to be. However, while this type of air conditioner has a number of unique advantages, it also has some disadvantages that should be taken into account before you decide to invest.
What are the advantages of choosing window-mounted air conditioners?
Inexpensive -- Low prices are probably the main selling point of window-mounted air conditioners, and they can be found for remarkably low prices without compromising on cooling power.
Minimal remodelling -- Unlike ducted or central air conditioning systems, window-mounted air conditioners do not require the installation of extensive (and expensive) ducting systems. A simple, low-profile mounting installed in your chosen window frame is all that is required to securely install one of these units. They can, however, be installed in a dedicated hole created in your exterior walls if you don't wish to obscure one of your windows.
High efficiency -- Another advantage of choosing window-mounted air conditioners is their energy efficiency, and in many cases multiple window-mounted conditioners can be used simultaneously without significantly impacting your energy bills. Despite this low power draw, window-mounted air conditioners are surprisingly powerful, and a single unit can be expected to effectively cool several hundred square feet.
Low noise -- Despite their efficiency, window-mounted conditioners have relatively small engines. Combined with the sound insulation built into their casings, these small engines mean that most window-mounted air conditioners run very quietly.
No need to monitor water drainage -- Unlike other air conditioner types, which have to be emptied of waste water regularly, window-mounted conditioners expel waste water and condensation directly to the outdoors. Simple drain hoses can be installed to route this waste water directly to your gutters or any other rainwater drainage system you possess.
What about the disadvantages of choosing window-mounted air conditioners?
One-room limit -- Although a single window-mounted air conditioner is capable of cooling two or three adjoining rooms if carefully positioned, they are generally limited to cooling a single room at a time. This makes multiple units desirable for larger homes, although in these circumstances a ducted or split-system air conditioner serving multiple rooms simultaneously may be more efficient.
Window obstruction -- Unless you opt for a wall installation (which often entails significant remodelling work), window-mounted air conditioners must be mounted in a window. This prevents you from fully opening and closing the window in question and can be an unsightly obstruction to any views or evening sunshine you may have enjoyed before.