Window Air Conditioning Units vs. Central Air Conditioning

Summer. Backyard BBQs, swimming, baseball, family vacations. What does the word “summer” conjure in your mind? Summer is the time of year when the sun is high in the sky and the weather is warm and humid. Summer is the time of year when air conditioners are running full blast to keep us cool. But what kind of air conditioner is best? Which type of air conditioner will provide the best level of comfort for your home or office building? Which air conditioner is the most energy-efficient?

Central Air Conditioning Units

Central air conditioning units are larger cooling systems that contain multiple moving parts. These units often include a condenser that sits outside the home, helping the air inside the home become cool and reduce humidity. The central air conditioner works with a built-in network of ducts that can also be incorporated into your heating system.

Window Air Conditioners

The window air conditioner is described exactly how it is named. This is an all-in-one unit that sits inside of a building’s window and is meant to cool only one room at a time. Though there are some newer units that can accommodate cooling a larger living area, these air conditioners will not effectively cool the entire home the same way a central air conditioner will. 


Window air conditioners are smaller and easier to install. The initial cost of the window air conditioner is typically less than the cost of the central air conditioning unit in equipment with the initial purchase price. The central air conditioning unit will need to be professionally installed and have regular maintenance to ensure the best performance in the system. However, if you are looking for long-term cost-effectiveness, the central air conditioner might be the better option.

Energy Efficiency

A window air conditioner may use between 500 and 1,400 watts of electricity while in use, where a central air conditioning unit could use upwards of 3,500 watts of electricity. Because window air conditioners are meant to cool one room at a time, in order to gain the cooling power of a central air conditioning unit, you would need to install a window air conditioner in every room of your home, which would increase the overall watts used to cool your home.

Miller’s Services has technicians who specialize in HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair and we would love to talk to you about making your indoor environment as comfortable as possible during these hot, humid months. Need help? Give us a call at 804-758-4314!

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