services 03.20.03

Air Conditioners

As everyone knows, New York has only three seasons since spring lasts, on average, about 20 minutes. Take the subway from Bowling Green to 86th Street at the wrong time and you could miss the whole thing. So even though it's not air conditioner weather yet, it will be momentarily.

What to Buy
Friedrich Quietmasters are considered state-of-the-art machines (Friedrich has long been the gold standard in the A.C. world). LG scores high marks from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Panasonic's CW line is another top choice. Amana, which as recently as last year was making top-rated A.C.s, no longer produces them.

Where to Buy
Gracious Home, 1217 3rd [70th] 212.517.6300 and 1992 Bway [67th] 212.579.9957, offers a wide variety and full service but few discounts. Peninsula Buying Service, 212.838.1010, a phone-order business, has discounted prices, though limited service. Sound City, 58 W. 45th [5th/6th] 212.575.0210, is another good choice. Since it is, after all, only March, some of these retailers will not have their new stock in for several weeks. But it pays to shop early - prices usually rise with the temperature.
By the Numbers
Room sizeBTUs needed
100 to 150 sq. ft. 5,000
150 to 250 sq. ft. 6,000
250 to 300 sq. ft. 7,000
300 to 350 sq. ft. 8,000
350 to 400 sq. ft. 9,000
400 to 450 sq. ft. 10,000
450 to 550 sq. ft. 12,000
550 to 700 sq. ft. 14,000
700 to 1000 sq. ft. 18,000

· If the room is heavily shaded, reduce capacity by 10 percent.
· If the room is very sunny, increase capacity by 10 percent.
· If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 BTUs for each additional person.
· If the unit is used in a kitchen, increase capacity by 4,000 BTUs.
· Consider where you install the unit. If you are mounting an air conditioner near the corner of a room, look for a unit that can send the airflow in the right direction.

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