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How to Buy an Air Conditioner

Keep your house cool and save money on utility bills by choosing an air conditioning unit with these features.


  • Step 1: Determine the type Determine the type of air conditioner that best suits your needs. Options include portable, room, window, and wall air conditioners.
  • Step 2: Buy high-efficiency Purchase a high-efficiency unit with an energy efficient ratio, or EER, of 13 or higher. The higher the EER, the more efficient the model.
  • TIP: Look for the "Energy Star" label on the unit.
  • Step 3: Buy with air filter Buy an air conditioner with an air filter to reduce odors and allergens.
  • Step 4: Measure the room Measure the square footage of the room you want to cool to determine how many BTUs are needed. BTUs, or British Thermal Units, indicate the air conditioner's cooling capacity.
  • TIP: The more BTUs, the more cooling power the system has.
  • Step 5: Choose adjusting louver Buy a unit that has oscillating louvers that can adjust the direction of airflow.
  • Step 6: Choose features Choose features such as a built-in timer, a digital display, touchpad controls, and a remote control.
  • Step 7: Find out the warranty Make sure there is a warranty on the unit and parts. Stay cool in your home!
  • FACT: The average American family spends $2,200 a year on energy bills, half of which goes toward heating and cooling costs.

You Will Need

  • High EER
  • Air filter
  • Measuring tape
  • Adequate BTUs
  • Oscillating louvers
  • Built-in timer
  • Digital display
  • Touchpad controls
  • Remote control
  • Warranty
  • "Energy Star" label (optional)

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