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Provided by Appliances Connection

This content was written by the advertiser and edited by Studio/B to uphold The Boston Globe's content standards. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its writing, production, or display.

How to choose the best air conditioner for your space

Get expert advice for picking the right unit with this air conditioner guide.

Summer is here — and so is the heat. To stay cool, you’ll have to know how to choose a quality air conditioner.

For decades, the comfort and convenience offered by air conditioners have provided a much-needed respite for us when the heat and humidity of the outdoors become too much to bear. Who hasn’t spent any amount of time under the sweltering summer sun—whether gathering with friends for a backyard barbecue, or mowing the lawn, or simply out and about—only to finally retreat into the confines of an air-conditioned home and experience that blissful feeling of cool, crisp, dry air? The feeling of relief is beyond sublime.

But before you can experience the benefits of an air conditioner, you want to know which one is right for you and your needs. Here, Appliances Connection is offering a quick primer on how to best keep cool in the coming months.

(Note: Before purchasing any air conditioner, measure the space where you intend to install the unit. Even if retailers offer a return option because of improper fit, they may impose a restocking fee.)


Energy and effect

A standard measurement for heat is the BTU [British Thermal Unit]. Knowing the correct level of BTUs needed to properly cool and condition the intended room or indoor space will help you choose an AC unit that operate efficiently and cost-effectively. The list will help you work out the correct BTU needed for your square footage.

Air conditioners are consistently used for extended periods of time, working for hours or even days on end.  That much usage can really rack up on your utilities. So, you may want to consider purchasing an Energy Star Certified air conditioner that is at least 10% more efficient than minimum government standards. It’s not just environmentally sound, it’s also considerably kinder to your electric bill. Also, keep in mind that there are multiple types of electrical plugs used for air conditioners. Make sure you have the proper outlets and wiring to handle the larger energy demand required by some AC units.


Types of air conditioners

Air conditioners come in a large range of styles, sizes, and BTU levels to fit even the most unique space and installation requirements. But you’ll most likely find the AC unit you’re looking among the following configurations:


Window air conditioner units are the easiest to install and some of the most in the country. They typically rest on the bottom of the windowsill, with flexible side panels to close off the rest of the window opening and insulating materials for added efficiency. This allows for more options for placement as well as quick removal and storage when not in use.

A set of exterior support brackets to hold up the unit may be required with window units installed in apartments.


Wall units are permanently built through an outer wall and set in a frame, or chassis, that vents exhaust outside while conditioning the cool air inside. A benefit of this type of AC unit is that it can be installed higher up on the wall, allowing the cool air to sink naturally throughout an area.

Window or wall

These versatile units can be installed through a wall when installed with a slide-out wall sleeve.


Portable wheeled units are energy efficient because they don’t use a refrigerant to cool the air. They use the cooling effect of water evaporation. When water evaporates it takes away heat, the way sweat cools you off on a hot day.


The split system is aptly named as it consists of two parts — a condenser located outside and an air handler to distribute the cooled air throughout the interior space. It works well in homes without ductwork as an addition to an already functioning heating and cooling system.


Commercial air conditioner units are larger and more powerful than residential units, these typically cool a much larger area occupied by several people. Many models are set on wheels for flexible placement.


Convenient features

Smart air conditioners

Smart air conditioner units contain Wi-Fi technology that allows you to monitor and program your AC unit with your smart device on various platforms, including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to control your AC via voice command. It doesn’t get more convenient than that.

Wireless remote control

Many models of contemporary air conditioners come with a wireless remote control so you can adjust the temperature or fan speed with the push of a button. Minimal effort, maximum control.

Now that you have a solid basic knowledge of the air conditioners available, you can better select an AC unit best suited to your needs and your home. And with the incredible variety of brands, features, and price ranges, there’s no reason to put off purchasing one or more for your home. Don’t wait until the temperatures really start to soar — start looking for an air conditioner now. Because the sooner you do, the cooler you’ll be.

This content was written by the advertiser and edited by Studio/B to uphold The Boston Globe's content standards. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its writing, production, or display.