Central AC vs. Window AC: Pros And Cons

Compare the pros and cons of central and window AC units. Discover whether a window air conditioner unit or central AC suits your needs. Visit Sandium today!

Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
Central AC vs. Window AC: Pros And Cons

Are you tired of the high monthly costs that come with your central air conditioner? Or maybe you are looking to buy a Bay Area house, but can’t make a decision because it doesn’t have central AC?

Whatever the reason, if you are curious about central air conditioner vs window air conditioner, this post can help. In this guide, you will learn the many pros and cons of each system to make an informed decision before you invest in air conditioning for your home.

Central Air Conditioning Units

Central ACs are the most common systems found in newer homes these days. The reason they are so popular is because they are specifically designed to provide a consistent and even cooling experience throughout the house.

These AC units send cold air through air ducts that are installed in the attic and in between floors for multi-story homes. The intricate network of ducts allows the cool air to reach every nook and cranny of your home, from top to bottom.

A central AC has two main components: an indoor evaporator coil and an outdoor condenser unit.

The indoor coil is either attached to the furnace or located inside an air handler. The condenser unit consists of a compressor, a condenser coil, a fan, and electrical components.

These two components are connected by a series of refrigeration lines. A thermostat unit is used to set and adjust the temperatures inside the house.


Filtered air: Since central ACs absorb the existing hot air from the house and pass it through a filter before pumping in cold air, they are perfect for people who want cleaner air to breathe. If someone in your house has asthma or allergies, a central unit will be a salient choice.

Consistent function: The biggest advantage of central cooling is that the temperature in every single room in your house can be set according to your preference. Just turn the thermostat dial and enjoy cool air regardless of where you are indoors.

Reduced humidity: These units are also better at lowering the humidity indoors than a window AC.


It generates high utility bills: If you get a central AC, expect your energy bills to spike especially during the scorching heat of the summer months. Generally speaking, it takes about $100-$200 per month to keep a central unit running or 8 hours every day.

It requires a lengthy and complicated installation process: Unlike window units, you can’t simply buy the parts of this AC system and install them yourself without the necessary training. Only an experienced and trained professional can put in central cooling in your home and the process will be more expensive and lengthy compared to a window AC installation.

Window Air Conditioning Units

Window ACs are designed to cool one specific room of the house in which they are installed. These units are installed inside a window sill, and are self-contained, i.e., all of the AC components are located inside that one unit itself.

A window air conditioner has a double shaft motor which features two fans on either side of the system. So, one fan is next to the evaporator and the other by the condenser. The evaporator side faces inside the room, and it is responsible for cooling the temperature inside.

The condenser part of the unit is installed outside the home, and it deposits hot air collected by the AC to the outdoors.


Energy efficient: A window AC unit uses 1/8th the amount of electricity compared to a central AC. This translates to $20-$30 each month to use a window AC for about 8 hours every day. If you buy a window AC that has an Energy Star Certification, it will ensure that the unit consumes as little energy as possible to cool your home.

Affordable: These units are highly affordable compared to central units; you can easily buy a great model for $100 or less for small rooms.

Easy to install: Windows ACs are way easier and faster to install than central air conditioning.


It doesn’t cool your entire house: By design, a window AC is only capable of cooling one room. Unless you are planning to install a unit in each and every room of your house, don’t expect your whole house to be cooled with one window AC.

It has limited cooling capacity: Even though there are different sizes of window ACs available in the market, they all have a maximum room size for cooling capacity. If you want to cool an open-floor area, a window unit won’t be as effective as central AC.

It needs to be stored during winter months: If you keep a window AC installed during winter, the poor weather can wreak havoc on the exterior unit.

Join the Future of Home Comfort

Take the first step towards comfortable, energy-efficient, and stress-free living by scheduling a consultation with Sandium.