Air Conditioner Buying Guide

Use this Air Conditioner Buying Guide to determine the best air conditioner for your space. When the weather heats up, it’s smart to be prepared for the soaring temperatures of summer with a reliable air conditioner. Depending on the size of your home, the climate in your area, and your air conditioning service needs, different ACs may be better suited to do the job than others.

Here are some Air Conditioner Buying Guide to consider when choosing the right air conditioning service.

Sizing Up Your Space

When it comes to air conditioners, bigger is not necessarily better! A too-small air conditioner won’t be able to keep up with the load, while a too-big air conditioner will cycle too quickly and leave the room clammy. A general rule of thumb is to look for a 1 ton capacity for every 600 square feet of space. For example, a 2,000 square foot house would require a 3.5 ton air-conditioning system. Although, sometimes well-insulated homes can be cooled with a smaller AC system.


You’ll need to consider your specific home and living situation to determine the right AC for you. Homes in hot summer regions may require a more powerful air conditioning service. Similarly, size up if your AC is in a home with lots of residents (more people generate more heat) or a home with high ceilings (more space that needs cooling).


  • Window: These units are installed directly in a window with the cool air system facing inside. They vent hot air directly outdoors and return the cool air inside. Try to install a window AC in a shady window if you can. This will allow for better cooling.
  • Portable: This model doesn’t need to be permanently installed and can be moved from room to room. It is meant to cool one room at a time. Using the air from within the room, a portable air conditioner pumps the excess hot air out of a hose that directs it outside through a window or other exit.
  • In-the-wall: This type of air conditioner is very similar to a window AC unit, but it sits in an exterior-facing wall rather than a window. An in-the-wall unit requires a sleeve, which is a metal device that supports the air conditioner’s weight.
  • Central: A central air conditioning unit cools your entire home. When you set the thermostat, it cycles through the cooling process until your house has reached the desired temperature.

Energy Efficiency

Air conditioners that meet Energy Star standards function 10% better than their counterparts. Though AC units with higher energy efficiency ratings may be more expensive initially, they use less energy in the long run. Not only does this reduce your monthly energy costs, but it’s also healthier for the environment!

Tip: look for air conditioners with the Energy Star label. These units meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Air Conditioning Service

High-quality air conditioner services are just a phone call away. At Shepherd’s Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning, you can rely on our experts to improve the quality and longevity of your air conditioner. Schedule with us today (650) 422-2466, or use this easy form to get in touch.

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