It's hard to imagine that air conditioning was once considered an appliance of privilege, and even harder to think that at one point, personal air was practically unheard of.
Large scale air conditioning and movie theaters generated huge crowds in the early 1900s. With reasonably-priced personal air conditioner considered the norm rather than the exception these days, the rule of thumb is that newer technology means a more economical operation.
The best place to start shopping for a new air conditioning unit is online. Run a search under “air conditioner calculator” to find special utility company pages that will present a given unit’s energy efficiency rating, or EER.
By factoring the size of the room, sun exposure, hours and time of use, it’s possible to come up with the exact amount of British thermal units or BTUs that will be required to keep a space comfortably cool without breaking the bank.
With a precise EER in hand, head to the appliance store and avoid overspending.
For those who already have an older unit, costs can be reduced while coolness increases by using a home fan. No longer noisy rattlers, newer fans are small and quiet.
“People use them in conjunction with an air conditioner so they don’t have to turn the air conditioners on in multiple rooms, they can hold the cold air from one room into another without having to use an air conditioner,” said Bill Weinblatt of Wise Hardware.
New fan designs can shift the air flow to redirect the coolness from an existing air conditioner. One appliance compliments another.
They also boast a sleeker design, and some even have remote controls and timers so users can direct and sync them for use with air conditioner units.
Fancier units cost $50 to $100.
Remember, a fan won’t cool the air, but it will make more efficient use of an existing air conditioner.