Window air conditioners are ideal choices for small to mid-sized rooms, provided you have a window to install them in. More often than not, they are quieter and less cost-intensive than similar air conditioners of different types, such as mini-splits or portable air conditioners.
Window air conditioners are packaged into one neat, compact form factor. The major components like the filter, evaporator coil, fan, compressor, coils, and condenser are pretty much the same as any air conditioner, but instead of being housed in different units like a mini-split, they are housed in one body for a window air conditioner. They are also smaller in size than regular central air conditioners, but adequate enough to cool your room.
This small package can then be installed in the window of your room, or you could make a purpose-built opening in the wall into which the air conditioner snugly fits.
With any air conditioner, the thermostat should ideally be located in a central location of the room, so that it gives an accurate reading of the temperature. It is an integral part of any air conditioning system and lets the air conditioner know when the desired temperature has been achieved so that the air conditioner can then turn off and conserve energy.
For a regular window AC, the temperature sensor is located somewhere in the air conditioner itself. What this means is that the temperature being displayed will be of right next to the air conditioner, and not from a central location of the room. Thus, the temperature sensor will be giving a cooler temperature than what it actually is, if the air conditioner is running in cool mode. This difference between the actual and measured temperature can lead to temperature variances throughout the room and is precisely where a window AC thermostat or a smart AC controller is beneficial.
What Are Window Air Conditioners?
As mentioned before, window air conditioners are a compact air conditioning package. But don’t let the small size fool you. These units are suitable for cooling down a single room, or at most, two small-sized rooms. They can be mounted on window frames, or placed through a hole in the wall. The latter is a permanent solution, while the former is a temporary one. You could modify any window to be able to fit your window air conditioner.
How a window air conditioner, or basically any air conditioner works, is by converting the hot and humid air within the room into a cool, pleasant one. The exact method by which it is done is a bit technical, and we will spare the details here, but in basic terms, a window air conditioner compresses the refrigerant into a hot, high-pressure gas. This gas is then sent through the condenser, where it condenses into a liquid. It then passes through the expansion valve and is cooled down within the evaporator coil. This is where it absorbs the heat in the room and ejects it into the outside environment.
How Do Window AC Thermostats Work?
At the moment, the window AC unit with thermostat comes with an IR remote control, which can make simple commands such as On/Off, change operating modes, or alter fan speeds. But what these remotes lack is a temperature sensor within them. The sensor is usually placed within the air conditioner unit, right next to the cold air. As discussed before, this can create problems in reading the accurate temperature of the room.
In other words, these remotes are “dumb”. But how do we make them smart?
The answer lies in smart AC controllers, like the Cielo Breez Plus and Cielo Breez Eco. Whether you want to be able to control your air conditioning from a far-away location, or from your office, smart AC controllers are the go-to device. Moreover, they also let you keep track of your usage statistics and use intelligent triggers for temperature and humidity. Other handy features like voice controls, scheduling, and location-based controls.
Window air conditioner thermostats such as the Cielo Breez Plus allow you to perform single commands, which can then control your air conditioner for the whole day or even the week! All this can be easily done through the convenience of your smartphone.
These thermostats do not need to be physically connected to the air conditioner. Rather, all communication between the thermostat and window air conditioner is performed through IR, while the communication between the thermostat and your phone is done over Wi-Fi.
Another cool feature of smart thermostats is that by learning your usage history and operating settings, they can alter the usage automatically while not compromising on performance. This leads to a direct reduction in utility bills.
How Is Smart Functionality Achieved?
“Internet of Things” is something which is the talk of the town these days. IoT has started affecting our lives by introducing newfound comfort and convenience to our home appliances and is now a staple of home appliances. But what exactly is it?
As far as HVAC is concerned, IoT allows previously “dumb” appliances such as heat pumps, air conditioners or dehumidifiers to be connected to the internet through smart thermostats and/or smart AC controllers. This allows control of the appliance through a smartphone app. This app can then contain many features that were not previously available to the air conditioner, such as scheduling, location tagging, and much more. The use of a smart controller also eliminates the need for the IR remote control. An even bigger plus point with smart controllers is their universality, meaning they are compatible with almost any air conditioner on the market!
In the case of window AC smart thermostats, commands can be sent through your smartphone to the smart controller, which then relays it to the air conditioner through IR.
Benefits of Window AC Smart Thermostats
Among the primary advantages of a window AC thermostat, one is the major energy savings, of up to 25% in some cases. As per the US Department of Energy, homeowners could save on average, at least 10% annually, if they have air conditioners with Wi-Fi control versus traditional air conditioners.
The second benefit is the convenience offered by window AC thermostats. Global controls give the ultimate peace of mind, where you can control your air conditioner from anywhere in the world without any hassle. Once you are done with the initial set-up, all you need to do is keep the thermostat connected to the Wi-Fi, and you are good to go. No more waking up at night to turn down the temperature or coming back home to a warm room.
Following are some other major benefits of window air conditioner thermostats:
- Window air conditioner thermostats have the humidity and temperature sensors built within them. This ensures that the actual temperature of the room is exactly what you want. With thermostats coming with the window AC’s, this wouldn’t be possible.
- Smart thermostats can keep track of how much your AC filter has been used, and then prompt you to go for a timely replacement. Dirty air filters can result in inefficient cooling and also introduce harmful particles into the air. The end result is a higher energy bill and poor indoor air quality. Thus replacing the filter timely is crucial, especially if you have old or allergic people within your household.
- Smart thermostats offer week-long or customized schedules so that you don’t have to play around with the AC modes each day constantly. Just set your preferred schedules and operating modes, and let the controller do the rest.
- Location-based controls through geo-fencing can keep track of your location, and turn on the AC automatically before you reach home. Or if you left in a hurry and forgot to turn the AC off, it will automatically turn it off once you have gone a certain distance away from home.
- With smart thermostats, you can now have an in-depth overview of your usage statistics for the past month. You can then find out potential wastage opportunities, and cut them down to save on your energy bills.
- In some cases, the most attractive feature is the ability to use the window AC thermostats via voice commands. The thermostat can connect to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, and work in sync with your other smart home devices.
Is a Window AC Thermostat Worth it?
This question is not hard to answer and deserves a resounding yes. Apart from the coolness and convenience factor, the reduction in utility bills offers a great enough incentive to opt for window AC smart thermostats.