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12 Air Conditioner Features You Should Know

What to look for when buying Air Conditioners and Central Air Conditioners.

The amount of air conditioner features for a buyer to decipher through really shows how far the technology has come over the years.

The first air conditioner was built by Dr. John Gorrie in the 1830s when he was treating patients with yellow fever and malaria. The humble but effective machine consisted of a fan that blew air over a bucket of ice. Modern air conditioners have since evolved by leaps and bounds and include a wide array of amenities, bell and whistles that a serious buyer should look for.

Below is a summary of Air Conditioner Features you should pay attention to when buying a unit. :

Air Conditioner Features
BTU Output This is an air conditioner's cooling capacity. Selecting the proper BTU output for your space is critical to an air conditioner's performance. Our Air Conditioner Sizing section will help guide you to an appropriate fit for your needs.
Energy Star Rating Qualified air conditioners are at least 10% more energy efficient than the minimum federal government standards. Check out our Energy Star rating and EER section to learn more.
Variable Speed Fan Adjustable fans help control noise levels and system efficiencies. Look for an air conditioner that has at least 3 settings. An infinitely adjustable fan can provide even more user functionality and make the air conditioner even more energy star compliant. Click here to read more about Quiet Air Conditioners.
Programmable Thermostat and Automatic Timer Being able to set an air conditioner to run automatically will help it function at its peak efficiencies and setting a timer for it to operate only when you are home are big money-savers in the long run.
Electronic Controls and Digital Display Gives you greater precision in finding your comfort zone within a 1 degree range.
Dehumidifier Functionality Some air conditioners with dehumidifier capabilities can provide prolonged comfort during the late Spring and early Fall months when keeping your home cool is not as necessary.
Quiet Mode The noise level of an air conditioner is once of the largest factors consumers consider before buying. Units with this setting operate at a relative whisper and provide more comfort than just cooling. Visit our Maintenance and Tips section to learn more on how to quiet a loud air conditioner.
Remote Control Typically units with electronic controls will include a remote. A great air conditioner feature for units placed in larger rooms.
Adjustable or Oscillating Louvers These can help distribute the air evenly throughout the room. Note that almost all window air conditioners are better at directing air to one side than the other. Keep this in mind when considering the placement of the unit in your home before you make your purchase.
Filters and Air Purifiers Do not bother with units that have filters that are hard to remove and clean. One of the best air conditioner features to look for is washable filters instead of replaceable ones when possible. Some air conditioners can act as air purifiers and have ionic cleaning mechanisms. Ionizing the air can boost the performance of your filter (provided it's clean) and help in air purification. If you have an air conditioner that uses this air purifier technology, electrons are being released which attach to impurities in the air and create ions. These enlarged particles are then caught in a filter, attach to the ionizer plating, or settle onto the floor and surfaces of your home to be vacuumed up or dusted later. To learn more about air purifiers, please check out our section entirely devoted to this technology.
Chassis Type There are fixed and slide-out chassis for window air conditioners. Fixed chasses are the most popular and are typically lighter and are installed and removed seasonally. A slide-out chassis is usually found on units that operate through a wall sleeve. This allows the owner to perform maintenance or replacement of their window air conditioner more easily.
Heat Pump Mode Some Air conditioners can be run in reverse, effectively converting it into a heat pump. To learn more on how this happens, visit our section on How Air Conditioners Work.
Warranty This is one most basic air conditioner features is certainly that can save you a headache! If a manufacturer does not stand behind their product, you should not buy it. Look for units that have AT LEAST a 1 year warranty including parts an labor.

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