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Could you interchange 10k BTU air conditioner with 2 5k BTU air conditioner and get the same result? Or is there a reason why buying one 10k BTU air conditioner is better than having 2 5k BTU air conditioners.

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the most likely answer would be power draw I would say I'm not a sparky but I'm guessing running two unit would be less economical than running one, but this would depend on the individual situation, like is there a need to cool only one part not both etc. –  UNECS May 24 '12 at 1:57
    
Are you referring to window units? You want to size them based on the space being cooled. 2 5k units would be better at cooling 2 rooms than one 10k unit would be. –  DA01 May 24 '12 at 3:09
    
@DA01 Yep they are both window units, and it's a one large room I need to cool –  Ichiro May 24 '12 at 11:23
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Efficiency wise, one large unit + an oscillating or ceiling fan would probably be better. In terms of your back, two smaller units would probably be better ;) –  DA01 May 24 '12 at 14:06
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2 Answers

The 10k A/C will have a larger compressor, but only one fan, one control circuit, etc. Two 5k A/Cs will have two smaller compressors, two of everything.

I suspect that as a result, the 10k will be more efficient overall. What you should look at is the power consumption of each - then double the 5k. I expect that overall the 10k will run for less than 2 5ks - but I may be wrong. Depends on the power drain of the various components...

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If you are talking about central A/C units. It would also depend on the configuration of zones, if zones were used. One unit might be cooling a shaded section of house, while the other cools a sunny part of the house. One thermostat might be set slightly warmer than the other, or there might be more heat producing appliances (and/or people) in one zone. –  Tester101 May 24 '12 at 11:52
    
Well he's talking about window units... so zones are somewhat dynamic... –  The Evil Greebo May 24 '12 at 12:38
    
The advantages of two units would be zoning the house to best balance the temperatures, as well as avoid 100% down time. If one needed repair the other could could possibly still run, and offer some comfort in the down time. –  Matt Adams Nov 13 '12 at 23:50
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If one 5k unit will often be sufficient in your climate/room situation, it would be more efficient, as it will run longer cycles and lower the humidity better than the 10k unit (humidity is a key function of warm-weather comfort). If it's likely that both will be required often, then I would look at the specs; Greenbo is probably right in his analysis, but the specs would tell you for sure.

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