Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility How to Choose a Room Air Conditioner | Howard's

Choosing an Air Conditioner

April 22, 2022

Spring is in the air and soon enough the warmer months of summer will be here.

It is a great time to consider shopping for a room air conditioner if you want extra cooling or don’t have a central air unit. A room air conditioner can save you time and money without having to alter your HVAC system to accommodate an AC unit.

woman sitting in her living room with a wall air conditioner

A great benefit of having single-room air conditioners is that you can climate control each room to your desire. The only thing you really need to consider is what kind of air conditioning unit you may need for your home. Here are our suggestions on how to choose which type and size air conditioner you need.

Types of Room Air Conditioners & Their Benefits

Portable Air Conditioner Benefits

A portable air conditioner offers the ability to move the air unit from one room to another and to centralize cooling exactly where you need it. These are great options for areas of a home or an office that are not regularly used.

Although the unit is portable, it needs to be located near a window so you can filter the warm air and water outside.

GE portable air conditioner next to a gray couch

Window Air Conditioner Benefits

A window air conditioner unit is mounted into an open window so that it can expel the warm air and water produced while cooling the air indoors. This makes for a great option for rooms that you want to regularly cool such as bedrooms or high traffic living rooms.

Room Air Conditioners with Dehumidifiers

Air conditioners with dehumidifiers are great for damp basements or areas that can have high humidity, such as a garage or shed. Although a normal air conditioner does dehumidify a room to some degree while cooling, it is not as efficient as an actual dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers also function as air purifiers by cleaning the air of pollutants and molds. This can help prevent mold in areas such as the basement and reduce allergy symptoms.

What Size Unit Do You Need?

To determine which size air conditioner to purchase for a space, first determine the square footage of the room it will be used in. Knowing the square footage can ensure having the right number of BTUs.

If you do not have enough BTUs, you will not be able to cool a large room efficiently and if you have too many then you will cool the area faster than it can naturally dehumidify the air leaving you cool and damp.

What Does BTU Mean?

A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the measurement of the heat content of fuels or energy sources. That means the higher the BTU the more energy it will use to increase its cooling power.

The measurement of one BTU is equivalent to the burning of a single match.

What BTU Do I Need for My Room?

Here are recommended guidelines according to Consumer Reports:

  • A 5,000 to 6,000 BTU unit is ideal to cool a 100 to 300 sq. ft. room
  • A 7,000 to 8,500 BTU unit is ideal to cool a 250 to 400 sq. ft. room
  • A 9,800 to 12,500 BTU unit is ideal for a 350 to 650 sq. ft. room

Benefits of a Smart Air Conditioner

Although many room air conditioners come with remote control, a smart air conditioner also provides the ability to use an app on your phone.

closeup of a woman's hands using an app on her phone to control her air conditioner

The app allows you to put it in sleep mode, eco mode, adjust fan speeds, or simply turn the device on or off. This gives you the ability to monitor your air conditioner when you are not home and program schedules to automatically adjust your air conditioner's temperature.

We have a couple of great options for smart air conditioners including this Frigidaire and this GE model. Complete your smart home and start saving money by monitoring and controlling your air conditioner no matter where you are.

Shop for Your Air Conditioner at Howard's

Howard’s has been in business for over 75 years and is Southern California’s largest and most trusted appliance retailer. We offer free next-day delivery on purchases over $399 within qualified zip codes scheduled before 12 p.m. in the Southern California area.

To make things easier for our customers, we also offer online chat, phone consultations, and online ordering. Shop one of our 15 locations or browse our selection online at

Looking to Finance?

Extend your budget and apply today for special promotional financing. Howard’s can work with you to find flexible financing and you can receive 18 months of no interest. Learn more about our financing options online today or contact us for more details.

Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Connected Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner

Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Connected Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner

GE Portable Air Conditioner

GE Portable Air Conditioner

Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Portable Room Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier Mode

Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Portable Room Air Conditioner w/ Dehumidifier Mode


Schedule an Appointment

Meet with one of our Trained Product Experts
who can assist with all of your needs.

Schedule Now
TopBack to Top

Your Cart

: 0