If you’ve been living in Chicago for a while, you’re probably all too familiar with the sweltering summer heat. Before it starts getting really hot, you’re going to want to think about options for air conditioning systems. The demand for AC systems (and AC unit repairs) is pretty high this time of year, so it’s a good idea to be proactive and figure out how you’re going to keep your home cool and comfortable ahead of time.

Many Chicago homeowners choose to get a central air conditioning system installed, and hey, it’s a great option in terms of aesthetics and whole-house cooling. Others choose to get window units installed instead, since they’re initially less expensive than central air conditioning systems. In this article, we’ll be breaking down the pros and cons of both cooling systems so that you can make an informed decision. Let’s get started!

Central Air Conditioning: Pros and Cons

Wantuck highly recommends getting a central air conditioning system installed. It’s admittedly quite the investment, though, which puts some people off. Here are the pros and cons of installing central air:


● Whole-House Cooling: Central air conditioning provides consistent, even cooling throughout your entire home. Getting central air conditioning installed is a great way to make sure that every room in your home stays at a comfortable temperature year-round.

● Aesthetics: With central air, there are no bulky units protruding from your windows. This system doesn’t obstruct natural light, and it won’t look “ugly,” which is a major con that comes with installing window units.

● Quiet Operation: Central air conditioning systems are typically much quieter than window units. This is because the compressor and fan are located outside your home.


● Higher Upfront Cost: Installing central air conditioning is, admittedly, quite expensive. Most agree that it’s a worthwhile investment, though.

● Requires Ductwork: If your home doesn’t already have ductwork in place, installing central air conditioning may require extensive renovations. This is going to add to the overall cost of the installation.

● Single-Zone Cooling: Unless you invest in a multi-zone system with separate thermostats for different areas of your home, a central air conditioning system is going to cool your entire house. This may not be ideal if you live with family members or roommates who have different indoor temperature preferences.

Window Units: Pros and Cons

Window units are an excellent choice if you’re on a tight budget. Although they tend to obstruct natural light, they’re super easy to install, and you can choose which rooms to install them in, too. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of window units:


● Lower Upfront Cost: Window units are generally more affordable than central air conditioning systems. If you’re trying to stick to a tight budget, window units might be the right option for you!

● Easy Installation: Window units can be installed quickly and easily in most standard windows. Unlike with central air conditioning systems, you won’t have to make any major modifications to your home.

● Targeted Cooling: You can install window units in specific rooms. They won’t cool your entire home, but that just means that your roommates or family members who are more sensitive to cooler temperatures won’t complain.


● Aesthetic Issues: Window units aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing to look that. They can obstruct views and natural light, which, understandably, puts some people off.

● Limited Cooling Capacity: Window units are typically designed to cool a single room or small area. They’re more suitable for small apartments than larger homes. That said, if you’re just trying to keep your bedroom cool, they’re a perfectly good option.

● Noisy: Window units can be quite noisy. If you’re especially sensitive to noise, you might want to consider getting a central air conditioning system installed instead.

Things to Take into Consideration for Chicago Homeowners

Chicago summers can be brutal, and this should definitely be taken into consideration when it comes to choosing between central air and window units. You’ll also want to think about things

like your budget, the amount of space in your home, and the lifespan and maintenance needs of each type of cooling system. Let’s break it down below:


While it may be tempting to splurge on a central air conditioning system, you should carefully consider your budget and long-term financial goals before jumping into this particular investment. If you’re trying to stick to a tight budget, window units might be a better option.

On the other hand, as long as you schedule regular maintenance checks, a central air conditioning system could actually save you money. In the long run, central air is more energy efficient, so you’ll be able to save a lot on utility bills over time.


Since summertime in Chicago can be especially brutal, you’ll need to think about the fact that your air conditioning system — no matter which one you choose — is going to be under a lot of stress. Again, central air conditioning systems are typically more efficient than window units. They’re less likely to break down, and they provide better temperature control.

Lifespan and Maintenance

You should also take the lifespan and maintenance needs of your air conditioning system into consideration. As you may have guessed, central air conditioning systems tend to have longer lifespans. You won’t have to get maintenance done on them nearly as often (though, it’s still a good idea to schedule frequent maintenance checks).

Final Thoughts

Here at Wantuck Comfort Solutions, we understand how hard it can be to choose between installing a central air conditioning system and installing window units. Now that you’ve had a chance to weigh the pros and cons, you might feel ready to make a decision, though.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Wantuck to schedule a consultation and figure out which type of cooling system will work best for your home. Our technicians are well-trained, licensed, and insured, so you can rest easy knowing that we’ll help you choose the best home cooling solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *