Most people would think that quality should always be splurged on, especially with air conditioners, but what’s the point of buying these cooling appliances if in the first place, their prices make you sweat? Not everything great and efficient should be expensive, and some of these great appliances that are certainly affordable and reliable are cheap air conditioners.

Yes, you could say that cheap air conditioners are stereotypically unreliable, what with some features it lacks that the more expensive models have. Cheap air conditioners aren’t necessarily that bad; with a bit of poking around, good selection and decision-making, cheap air conditioners really can work for you, for a long time and for less.

Why go for cheap air conditioners?

While the more expensive models boast of their many features and gadgets built into them, cheap air conditioners are more often than not more than enough for you and your family. When you come to think of it, you can achieve energy efficiency with cheap air conditioners by regulating its use, and keep the air pure by cleaning the room and the filters. And, most of all, cheap air conditioners give you comfort that other costly types can, only for a lot less.

Tips on choosing cheap air conditioners

There are a lot of cheap models you can find on the market. For less than $300, you can buy air conditioners that fit in windows that are fixed on walls, and contain enough power to blast cold air in small to mid-size rooms. You can even count on cheap air conditioners to do fine on larger areas by modifying the layout and arrangement of your living space, and keeping your air conditioning unit from direct heat from the sun. The efficiency of your cheap air conditioners, if you still are not satisfied, can be boosted with fans that are strategically placed around the room.

One thing you should keep in mind while shopping for and choosing cheap air conditioners is the size of the room where the air conditioning unit is to be placed. Measure the room, and do so with the window where it’s going to be wedged in, too. The efficiency of cheap air conditioners is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU’s). Do not ever buy air conditioners with too much or too less BTU’s than you need, as cheap air conditioners, or any kind of air conditioners that are too powerful or too small for the space will not give you the best performance. Spaces that need more BTU’s are rooms with high ceilings or those with windows facing south, and rooms with minimal insulation.

As mentioned, there are a lot of cheap air conditioners you can choose from. Most of them have similar features. The better ones generally include common features like remote control, adjustable air-flow louvers, reusable filters, and on/off timers. Some of the most important factors among cheap air conditioners are capacity (in BTU’s), energy efficiency, number and types of cooling modes, and number of fan speeds. It should also be noted that majority of cheap air conditioners are made specifically to suit double-hung windows, and that models made by the same manufacturer are going to differ slightly in number or letter designation and feature combinations. But all that depends on the retailer.

Maintaining cheap air conditioners

As with any appliance, air conditioners also require regular maintenance every once in a while. Here are a few tips on maintaining cheap air conditioners.

Keep your filters clean. Dusty filters reduce air flow, thereby also reducing the cooling power your air conditioning unit can provide. Every month or so, check your air conditioning unit’s air filters, and clean them out when dust or any other obstruction builds up. You should also replace the filters in case of damage due to wear and tear. Keeping your filters clean can help you save up, as clean filters cut energy consumption costs down from 5-15%.

To keep cool air from escaping the air conditioned area, check the seal between the air conditioning unit and the window frame. If it has holes or gaps which can be caused by moisture, seal them. If your room’s air conditioning is centralized, check to see if all the ducts are insulated just right, with emphasis on those that go through your attic or other unconditioned areas, like cellars or basements.

Lastly, keep furniture or other objects from obstructing vents of cheap air conditioners. To save energy, close off rooms that are not used, and shut the vents in those unused rooms.