My window or through the wall air conditioner is not heating my room enough.  Is there a problem?

Is your air conditioner running in heat mode but not heating your room as expected?  If so, be sure to read the below to understand the capabilities of air conditioners running in heating mode.

For Units with Heat Pumps:

  • A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner operating in reverse. In fact, specifically, the main difference between an air conditioner producing cold air and an air conditioner producing warm is by way of a device called a reversing valve. The reversing valve does what might be expected, it reverses the flow of refrigerant and the subsequent cooling or heating and venting of exhaust air that occurs.
  • Heat pumps should NOT be considered a primary source of heat in anything but mild to moderate conditions. Heat pumps are intended for environments where there is only a moderate level of heating required. As such, in colder environments, an air conditioner utilizing a heat pump for heating should be considered a supplemental source of heat and can only be expected to generate and output air that is 10°F to 15°F above the ambient room temperature. With this in mind, as the ambient temperature goes down, the heating capabilities of a heat pump system are progressively limited.

For Units with Electric Heat Strips:

  • Electric heat strips resemble the coils in toasters or hair dryers.  When you air conditioner operates in heat mode, air flow generated by the fan will pass over / through these coils thereby heating the air blown into the room in which the unit is located.  
  • A window or through the wall air conditioner should NOT be considered a primary source of heat in anything but mild to moderate conditions. Supplemental heating coils are intended for environments where there is only a moderate level of heating required. As such, in colder environments, an air conditioner utilizing heat strips for heating should be considered a supplemental source of heat and can only be expected to generate and output air that is 10°F to 15°F above the ambient room temperature. Consider again how these units operate.  Ambient air from the environment where the unit is operating is passed over and thru the heating coils.  As such, 50°F room air being heated by heat strips will be able to reach a maximum of 65°F when fully heated and vented into the room.

IMPORTANT - Air Conditioner Room Specifications:

  • It is important that the air conditioner is adequate for the space in which it is operating. Refer to the specifications listed in your user manual or product specifications document to ensure that the room in which the unit is operating is appropriate.
  • As noted above, the reasonable expectation of a window or through the wall air conditioner unit with  heat pump or heating strip heat function, while operating at normal efficiency, is to generate and output air that is approximately 10°F to 15°F above the ambient room temperature.
  • Normal ambient temperature operating ranges for a window or through the wall air conditioner are between 50°F to 90°F. Operation outside of this specification will inhibit or prevent the unit from operating correctly.