Memorial Day has passed and, like clockwork, it has become hot and borderline uncomfortable in New York. If summer hasn’t hit your neck of the woods yet, it probably will soon. So how do you avoid annoying situations such as feeling dehydrated and not being able to wear the boxers you slept in? Hook up some
air-conditioning, of course.
If you are lucky enough to live in a house or apartment with AC, then your only real concern should be budgeting your usage so that you don’t rack up an enormous energy bill. Blasting it for 12 hours just so that you can experience that feeling of stepping into an ice box at the end of the work day is simply egregious.
For those of us living in a leased spot sans-AC, spending thousands of dollars installing a central cooling system is clearly not in the cards. If you can't find a gaggle of pretty young things to swarm you with hand fans as you slumber, you're probably going to want to look into a window air-conditioning unit. Here's what you need to know before making a purchase.
As we’ve discussed before with mattresses and TVs , the lion’s share of the decision-making process for a copping an AC unit comes down to taking some simple measurements. Measure the width and length of the room and multiply to figure out the square footage of the space you want to cool. This will be essential in determining the strength that you require (see below). If two or more rooms are open plan, you’ll want to include the whole space in your measurement. However, the cool air will not go around corners, so if you put the unit in the living room don’t expect it to make much of a difference in your bedroom down the hall (or even next to the window where you install the AC unit). You also need to measure the window to make sure the unit will actually fit—all models will tell you the maximum and minimum dimensions. Ignoring these preliminary measurements could literally be disastrous.
There’s a magic little number in the world of air-conditioning and it’s measured in Btus (British Thermal Units), the international measure of energy. There is some “science” behind this but suffice to say that the Btu is measurement that determines ...