The Most Reliable Air Conditioner

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There are numerous ways to keep cool in the summertime, such as hitting the beach, taking a cold shower or taking a dip in a pool. However, having a reliable air conditioner can keep you cool when these options are out of reach. Before purchasing any air conditioning unit, take note of your budget and the amount of space you're looking to cool.

On a Budget

  • For those on a tighter budget, the Kenmore 75050 window air conditioner is the way to go. With an estimated starting price of $100 as of 2011, this Kenmore model features a 5,000 BTU cooling capacity, two fan speeds and a one-year parts and labor warranty. The overall width of the unit is 17.31 inches, the depth is 12.81 inches, and the height is 11.13 inches, making it ideal for smaller spaces. However, this model is not Energy Star rated. Despite some durability complaints from owners, this model was still ranked as one of the five best air conditioners of 2011 by Consumer Search.

A Bit More

  • For those looking to spend a bit more money, try the Kenmore 76081 air conditioner. With an estimated starting price of $200 as of 2011, this model has been Energy Star rated and features a 7,800 BTU cooling capacity, three fan speeds and a one-year parts and labor warranty. The overall width of the unit is 20.09 inches while the height is 13.88 inches and the depth is 17.63 inches. Consumer Search also ranked this model as one of the five best for 2011 along with three other Kenmore models: the Kenmore 75062, the Kenmore 75101 and the Kenmore 75121. The Kenmore 75121 has the highest estimated starting price as of 2011 at $300.

Friedrich

  • With an estimated starting price of $830 as of 2011, the Friedrich QuietMaster SS08M10 has the ability to cool a 350-square-foot room. With a 7,900 BTU cooling capacity, this model features a remote control, digital controls and has an Energy Star rating. For those looking to purchase a Friedrich air conditioner for less money, the Friedrich CP06F10 is the way to go. Although a little less energy-efficient than the higher-priced SS08M10 model, this model has been Energy Star rated and features a LCD screen, electronic controls and a remote control. The starting price for this unit is $220 as of 2011.

Central Air

  • For those looking to install a central air conditioner, Consumer Search recommends purchasing a high-efficiency model. These models have an estimated starting price between $2,500 and $3,000 as of 2011. Models with a seasonal energy-efficiency rating (SEER) between 16 and 23 are best for areas with long air conditioning seasons according to the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). However, duct-work renovations may be needed to install this type of central air conditioner, which would increase the overall installation cost.

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  • Photo Credit air conditioner vent image by Tammy Mobley from Fotolia.com
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