Best size for a window unit ac

Updated on July 2, 2021 in General Stuff
9 on June 10, 2021

So aren’t I the little thread monster lately….

Today’s question regards window unit air conditioners. The sales literature says 5000 btu is suitable for rooms “up to 150 square feet,” and 6000 btu covers rooms “up to 250 square feet.”

I want a window unit for my little man cave/redoubt/guitar room. It measures 152.1 square feet (call it 14′ x 11′,× or 154 square feet). That means 5000 btu’s.

I inherited from my father a tendency to overkill, and so I’m inclined to get the bigger unit. The problem with too much air conditioning, though, is that it will cool a space, and quickly cycle off, faster than it can humidify the space, leaving you with a cold but damp room.

That said, is there really that much difference between 5000 and 6000 btu for dehumidification purposes?

Even if AOC and her fellow commies never come for my precious bodily fluids, obviating the need for this room, I still want a window unit in it because Mrs. Wife is happy with the central air thermostat in the house set at 80
Or “off.” When the ac goes out on a super hot day, she notices, but doesn’t care, much less complain (tough egg, as you may recall from the deep freeze of February when the Texas power grid failed).

But I want at least one cold room in this house.

What would you do?

 
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2 on June 10, 2021

This feels like one of those things I should know something about. But the truth is, I haven’t got the slightest idea.

As a matter of pure speculation, is is possible to get the larger unit, but run it at a lower setting so you get more continuous operation?

on June 10, 2021

I appreciate you. Thanks.

on June 10, 2021

I actually had the same question. There is also a dehumidifier on some that you can run irrespective of temperature. I am inclined to the larger….

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3 on June 10, 2021

Back when I had window AC units, I don’t remember any set specific thermocouple-style feedback temperature control that would ever cycle the things off. Usually 2 knobs- one with 5 or 6 fan speeds and the other with a sliding scale red-to-blue knob for temperature.

Get the big one and then adjust to your heart’s content.

on June 10, 2021

Thanks very much!

on June 10, 2021

When I said “cycle off when the cool temperature is reached but before the room is dehumidified,” I meant the compressor component if the unit cycling off. The fans themselves on all my window units have run continuously as well.

on June 11, 2021

Yeah, you’re right. I was at work and somewhat confused (to say the least) when I wrote that. Probably better would have been saying that it’s the compressor cycling on and off, cooling the coils the air passes over. The cold coils are what condenses and removes the humidity from the air. Just because the compressor stops doesn’t mean the coils are suddenly warm. It takes time to warm at which point the compressor starts again. The temperature control just determines the compressor cycle time.

So one way or another, the cooler the temperature is set, the cooler the coils will stay, and the more humidity is removed.

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0 on June 10, 2021

Big ones can cool faster than they can de-humidify, I meant.

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0 on July 2, 2021

Update: I returned the window unit to Home Depot.

First, I swear that window units in the 1950’s — the Fifties! — blew colder air, and with stronger fans, than do the window units of today. The customer service guy advised that lots of people are returning their window ac units because they just don’t cut it .

Second, I closed several of the ac vents last night in other parts of the house, this to force more air into my redoubt/man cave, where I have taken to sleeping. I nearly froze to death and work up with a sore throat, so my central ac in that part of the house (there are three, but just one is problematic) works. Third, my air conditioning guy came today and was horrified that I tried to fix this with a window unit. He is going to install a new duct and dedicate it to the problematic room, after which… we’ll see. He says “no problem,” and I hope he’s right, as 105 degree days are coming soon!

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