Advantages of 15000 BTU air conditioners
It’s safe to say that a 15000 BTU air conditioner boasts quite a few unique benefits. Below, we’ll discuss some of the key features and advantages that stand out most.
- Portability: You probably won’t be using your AC in the winter the same way you use it in the summer. 15000 BTU units are small and portable enough to be detached from the window and stored in a hall closet until those hot summer months eventually return.
- Medium-sized coverage: A 15000 BTU unit can cool a small-sized apartment on its own, so you won’t need to purchase an individual unit for every bedroom.
- More energy-efficient: Central AC units rack up heft energy bills and run practically 24/7. Portable 15000 BTU air conditioners, like the TCL 15W3E1-A 15,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner, are Energy Star rated, which can keep your monthly energy bills low.
- Convenience: Many 15000 BTU units come with remote control functionality, meaning you can adjust the temperature and turn it on and off from across the room.
It’s important to understand that a 15000 BTU AC unit won’t make sense in all homes, especially in scorching areas of the country or in large spaces.
Things to consider before getting a 15000 BTU AC unit
Before you buy a brand new 15000 BTU air conditioning unit, you’ll want to think about the following things:
- How much window or floor space you have;
- Whether the room you plan to put it in has a window;
- How large the desired room or area is (in square feet);
- How much you value energy efficiency and low energy bills;
- What you’re willing to spend on an AC unit;
- Whether you need a high-tech unit (Wi-Fi, remote control, LED, etc.).
Now that you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, we’re going to walk you through decision-making and buying processes.
There are three major types of 15000 BTU AC units: portable, window-mounted, and rooftop.
Portable AC units like the Whirlpool 14,000 BTU Dual-Exhaust Portable Air Conditioner will rest on the floor next to a window. An air hose will be wedged within the window to allow hot exhaust and air to escape. These units also have wheels so you can roll them from room to room.
Window-mounted units like the TCL 15W3E1-A 15,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner are lodged directly below an open window and are a bit too bulky to move. The noisier pieces of the unit are housed outside the window, meaning these AC units tend to be on the quieter side.
Rooftop units like the Dometic 15000 BTU RV AC are primarily installed on large vehicles like RVs and campers. This style of AC unit can improve cooling and airflow in your camper as you’re road tripping across the country.
Power and efficiency
The power of an AC unit is described in BTUs, which stands for “British thermal unit.” In our reviews, we focused mostly on AC units within the 13000 to 15000 BTU range. A unit of this power will consume about 1250 to 1875 watts per hour, on average.
To figure out if an air conditioner is energy-efficient, all it takes is a simple equation. Divide the BTU value by the approximate wattage to get the EER or the “energy efficiency ratio.” The higher the number, the more energy-efficient the unit is.
If you value energy efficiency and want to save a few bucks on your electric bill, you may wish to purchase an Energy Star certified air conditioner with a high EER rating (11+).
For example, the Friedrich CCW15B10A Air Conditioner costs just $125 to run each year.
The power of your air conditioning unit will determine how much indoor coverage it offers as well. The coverage area is often defined in square feet and describes what space your AC unit can keep cool.
An AC unit should be able to keep one square foot cool for every 20 BTU. However, this isn’t an exact science. That explains why AC units like the Black + Decker BPACT14WT Portable Air Conditioner offer just 350 square feet of coverage while the Perfect Aire 15,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner can cover an impressive 700 square feet (the size of a tiny apartment).
A 15000 BTU unit will have a coverage range of 350 to 700 square feet. Portable units tend to hover around the lower end of the spectrum, while window-mounted units offer maximum coverage.
Design and controls
One of the most important things to consider when buying a new 15000 BTU AC unit is how it works. Nearly every basic AC unit comes with button controls on the unit to adjust settings, temperature, and fan speeds.
Most AC units these days will come with remote control for convenience purposes as well. Now you can control the temperature and fan speed of your air conditioner from across the room or while you’re lounging on the couch.
Modern AC units, like the Friedrich CCW15B10A Air Conditioner, also have Wi-Fi connectivity and voice command capabilities. These tech-savvy systems allow you to control your home’s ventilation via your smartphone or your voice.
AC units usually have one primary function: distributing cool air to maintain temperature control. However, some units offer more advanced features that can get you more bang for your buck and greater convenience overall.
For example, the Whirlpool 14,000 BTU Dual-Exhaust Portable Air Conditioner also doubles as a dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier feature can pull moisture out of the air and lower indoor humidity, helping your room feel even cooler. Less humidity can also make air easier to breathe and reduce the growth of mold and mildew in your home.
Most AC units will also come with a “fan-only” function that’ll simply distribute whatever air is currently in the room. This is a great feature to have if you enjoy a nice gentle breeze while you’re sleeping.
Dimensions and weight
Since a 15000 BTU air conditioning unit is considered “middle of the road” in terms of power, these units also tend to be on the smaller side.
Portable AC units come with wheels so that you can move them from one room to another, and they typically don’t take up more than 4 square feet of floor space.
Window-mounted units tend to be a bit bulkier, but it’s important to remember that half of the unit will extend out of the window. These units are typically under 30” wide, so you’ll need to check that your specific model will fit in the desired window.
A 15000 BTU air conditioner will cost you an average of $500 or more for a good unit. So, you want to be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth by purchasing a unit with a warranty.
Most of the AC units among our favorites come with a one-year warranty on labor and parts. If your AC suddenly stops working within 365 days of your purchase, you might be able to get a free replacement or repairs done by the manufacturer.
Some of the units on our list have extended warranties on specific parts. For example, the Friedrich Chill Series CP15G10B Room Air Conditioner comes with a five-year warranty on the sealed refrigerant system. This system keeps the Freon from leaking out of the AC unit, so this warranty can save you a lot in replacement costs.
What else can be important?
15000 BTU air conditioners are pretty straightforward, but there are a few extra features or characteristics you’ll want to weigh. These include:
- Window mounting & exhaust kits: Both portable and window-mounted AC units need to be secured to a window to allow airflow in and out. Make sure you measure your window’s width before buying an AC unit to ensure that the window mounting or exhaust kit will fit snugly.
- Washable filter: AC units with washable filters will save you some cash on filter replacements every few months. These filters are easy to clean with soap and water.
- Quiet operation: A 15000 BTU air conditioner can be powerful, so it’s not surprising that these machines can be loud. Check the decibel output of your desired AC unit to check that it’s low, preferably beneath 50 decibels.
Most of these features are purely for convenience purposes. You might find quiet operation to be crucial while another person prefers washable filters more. Decide what’s important to you.
Most 15000 BTU air conditioners will be a little more costly than you’d expect. You should anticipate paying between $300 and $800 on a new unit, with window-mounted air conditioners being pricier than portable ones.
The Black + Decker BPACT14WT Portable Air Conditioner is the most affordable air conditioner on our list. Listed at a little more than $400, this unit will offer up to 350 square feet of coverage, pull moisture out of the air with the dehumidifying feature, and have a remote control.
Higher-end models include the Friedrich CCW15B10A Air Conditioner, boasting a normal list price of over $800. This tech-savvy window-mounted unit can be controlled via voice or Wi-Fi connectivity, is Energy Star certified, and can keep large rooms comfortably cool.