Comparison points for air conditioner units include the BTU rating, energy efficiency, ease of use, price and special features, such as adjustable air flow, dehumidifying setting and programmable temperature control. Choosing an air conditioner that is correctly sized is essential. The other features help the consumer make a final decision.
The BTU rating is the indicator used for sizing the air conditioner based on the area of the room. Product specifications list the size of room ideal for the unit, such as a 10,000 BTU unit for a 400- to 450-square-foot room. Smaller units can't cool the space properly. Larger units may cause a damp feeling because they can't remove humidity properly.
Energy usage is easy to compare. By law, manufacturers must list the Energy Efficiency Ratio on each unit. Higher numbers mean better energy efficiency. The models also have ratings for noise control, allowing the consumer to find a quiet model if noise is a concern.
The location and function of the controls is a convenience factor that may sway a consumer toward a particular model. Air conditioners often include digital temperature displays, touch button controls and LED screens to improve ease of use. The controls should be easy to access and identify.