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What is Window Air Conditioning?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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When a person has an air conditioner unit that sits in a window, he has window air conditioning. This type of air conditioning is usually used to cool one or two rooms in warm or hot weather. Window air conditioners aren’t usually effective for cooling a whole house, though there are some models that may be effective for cooling an entire level, especially if there aren’t many walls to block the airflow. Many people opt for window air conditioning because it may cost less to install than central air conditioning. It may result in lower utility bills as well, especially if a person only uses one unit to cool a room or two.

As the name suggests, a window air conditioner sits in a window and removes heat and humidity from the room it is cooling. This type of unit typically exhausts hot air to the outdoors. Usually, there are two fans inside a window air conditioning unit. One of the fans has the job of blowing cool air into the room while the other fan usually has the job of blowing the warm air to the outside.

While window air conditioning may prove easier and less costly to install, many people grow frustrated with its limitations. For example, if a person uses a window air conditioner unit to cool his bedroom, he may be quite comfortable as long as he is in the room it’s cooling. If he has to venture out to use the bathroom or cook in his kitchen, he may find these areas miserably hot. Central air, on the other hand, may keep every room of his house cool.

Size matters when choosing this type of air conditioner. A small window air conditioning unit may not cool a larger room effectively. In some cases, closing the door to the room may help to contain the cool air and make the air conditioning more efficient, but sometimes, even this measure fails to work. In such a case, a larger more powerful air conditioner may be order.

Unlike central air conditioning units and wall air conditioners, window air conditioning units are often removed from their posts when the warm weather ends. For example, many people install their window air conditioning units during the spring or early summer months and take them out again as the weather grows cooler. One reason for this is that window air conditioning units typically let drafts enter. As winter approaches, people usually remove them to keep cold air from finding its way into their homes.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

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Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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