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What Is the Most Affordable AC Unit in 2022?


Air conditioning accounts for about 6% of energy usage in the United States. While this may seem like a small amount, it makes up about $29 billion of energy costs each year.
Finding an affordable AC unit can be a challenge with so many options available. How do you choose the one that’s best for your home and your budget?
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best AC unit options that won’t break the bank. Read on for our guide to choosing an affordable home AC unit!

Types of Air Conditioners Available

Several factors determine what kind of home AC unit is the right choice. Knowing the different kinds available will help you decide.

Central Systems

In the United States, the most common type of HVAC system is central air conditioning. A central system uses an outdoor compressor, an indoor unit, and a system of ductwork to distribute cooled air.
Central systems are a popular choice because they’re effective for any size of home. An affordable option for central air conditioning is the Comfort 13 24ABB3.
However, the cost of installing ductwork can be astronomical, and they aren’t the most energy-efficient option. Luckily, there are less expensive options that may be just as good for cooling your home.

Ductless Mini-Split

As the name suggests, a ductless mini-split system is similar to a central system, but without expensive ductwork. Instead, one or more indoor units, usually wall-mounted, are connected to an outdoor compressor.
Just like with a central system, the indoor units remove heat from the home and transfer it to the compressor. The compressor then expels the hot air outside.
Mini-split systems are inexpensive to install and still provide a lot of cooling power. Carrier offers many options for mini-splits, such as the Comfort Series 40MHHC. This unit offers variable fan speeds, high wall installation, and a temperature-sensing remote.
The main disadvantage to ductless systems is that they require a unit for each room that needs to be cooled. As a result, they may not be the best option for larger homes or homes with many rooms.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps are an excellent choice for energy efficiency. They work by transferring heat into or out of your home directly using refrigerant and a fan.
In the winter, a heat pump transfers heat from the air outdoors into your home. When it gets warm outside, it reverses the heat transfer to keep your home cool.
The Comfort Series 38MHRCQ has a 19.8 SEER rating and doesn’t require ductwork. Ask a professional if a heat pump air conditioning unit is right for you.
While a heat pump system can save homeowners on energy usage, it isn’t the best choice for every home. Since it uses the air outdoors, a heat pump isn’t suitable for areas where it gets extremely hot or cold.
Additionally, the cost of installation can be expensive when compared to other ductless systems.

Window Units

For a smaller home, or areas where it doesn’t get especially warm in the summer, it may not be necessary to get a large system at all.
A window air conditioning unit is a great option for shoppers on a budget and is quick and easy to install. If your home only has a couple of rooms requiring serious cooling, you should consider installing window units.
Window units are also a good choice for older homes that aren’t designed for ductwork.

How to Choose an Affordable AC Unit

Even after you’ve chosen the type of AC unit that’s right for your home, you still have to narrow it down to a specific model. There are several variables you should take into account to help you make the right choice.

Energy Efficiency

An air conditioner’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio is how well a unit cools an area compared to how much energy it uses. The ratio is usually shown as a number between 8 and 22, with a higher number meaning it uses less power.
While there are other considerations to take into account, the SEER will give you a good idea of how expensive it will be to run your air conditioning.


You may like the price tag and energy efficiency of a particular unit, but you should consider how expensive it will be to install.
Installation costs depend on the way your home is built. A home with very thin walls and no ductwork will make a central system very expensive to install, for example.
If your home is already equipped with ductwork, you should strongly consider a central HVAC unit.
On the other hand, even a ductless system can be tricky, because the unit generally has to be mounted on an exterior wall. This is so the unit can connect directly to the outdoor compressor.


Noise is a factor that’s easy to forget when shopping for an AC unit, but some units are much louder than others.
This is another reason that central systems are a popular option. The compressor, which makes the most noise, is outside the home.
Mini-splits are another good noise-reducing option since the compressor is still outside.


It’s important to do your research before making a purchase, but a good place to start is with a reliable brand. Checking reviews online can also help you decide on a reliable unit.
Another sign of a reliable AC unit is a warranty, which shows a brand’s confidence in its product. Be sure to ask about warranty options when shopping for a new HVAC system.

The Bottom Line on Choosing an AC Unit

When you’re trying to choose an affordable AC unit, there are lots of factors to keep in mind. On top of the cost of the equipment, consider energy efficiency, installation, and lifespan.
Still have questions about having an affordable system installed? Contact us today to get a free estimate on air conditioner installation!