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Best Heating and Cooling Equipment Buying Guide

When the temperatures outside start getting extreme, keeping your indoor air quality a comfortable temperature requires help. That's where heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems become worth their weight in gold. With an understanding of HVAC systems, you can combat blazing summers or glacial winters.

Why should I upgrade my home's heating and cooling equipment?

You should improve your home heating systems or cooling systems if they're not performing to your expectations. That could be upgrading your room air conditioner from window air conditioning to a ductless mini-split air conditioning unit. But it could also be as simple as upgrading ductwork, installing ceiling fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers or energy-efficient double-pane windows.

How does heating and cooling equipment affect my home's resale value?

If your home has demonstrably better heating and cooling equipment than the other homes in your area, that could increase your home's value by thousands of dollars. However, if your home has average, worse, or energy-inefficient heating and cooling equipment, it could negatively affect your sale price. Talk to a real estate agent to get an understanding of your equipment's value in your market so you can decide if a new system is beneficial for a sale.

Where can I buy heating and cooling equipment on a budget?

Sam's Club offers members-only prices on water heaters, portable air conditioners, window air conditioners, and high-efficiency ductless mini-split air conditioners and heat pumps.

What to Consider When Buying an Air Conditioner?

How large of an AC unit do I need?

While central air conditioning can cool the entirety of an average family home, advances in window, portable and ductless mini split air conditioners have made them a viable option for smaller homes and apartments.

  • For just a single room, a single 8,000 BTU unit will help you stay cool.
  • For an 800 sq. ft apartment, one 28,000 BTU unit or two 12,000 BTU units should do the trick on days that are 10-20 degrees above your target temperature.
  • For larger homes, a new popular alternative to central AC is using one or more 10,000 BTU to 40,000 BTU ductless mini-split system. Most of the unit can be installed by yourself. For the final steps of connecting the copper piping between the indoor and outdoor units and charging the refrigerant, you should contact a local HVAC services company to schedule a home visit HVAC installation by an HVAC technician.

What type of AC unit do I need?

Choose an air conditioner based on size of your home and the flexibility in that home's heating and cooling. If you want a large home completely heated and cooled at the same time, a central AC unit is what you need. But these can be expensive and less efficient than the targeted HVAC provided by other options.

  • A window/wall air conditioner is excellent if you're trying to keep a living room or bedroom cool while also helping some adjacent rooms. With a little heavy lifting, these units can be installed in a window and insulated for usage over an entire season.
  • A portable AC unit is the easiest for self-installers. Often as effective as a window AC unit, and it can be easily rolled from room to room, as long as there is a window that can be used for ventilation. You can set up a portable AC unit in a new room in less than two minutes without any heavy lifting.
  • A ductless mini-split air conditioner and heat pump unit provide much of the power and high-efficiency of central AC, with lower energy bills and without needing air ducts installed throughout your home. Their internal thermostats and remote controls can both monitor, cool and heat your home to maintain an ideal temperature. These units have permanent indoor and outdoor components, that can be 90% self-installed, but require and air conditioning contractor to finish the installation.

Do portable air conditioners save money?

One of the easiest ways to waste money is to heat and cool rooms you are not using. The ease of rolling a portable air conditioner from room to room alleviates this problem. And at Sam's Club, we offer members-only prices on portable air conditioners.

Can I install a window AC unit myself?

With some heavy lifting, coordination and know-how, you can install a window AC unit by yourself. Only you know what you are capable of lifting, maneuvering and installing. But, when compared to the risk and cost of damages from dropping an AC unit out of a window, the cost of installation by a handyman or HVAC company is a bargain.

Energy Efficiency

Check for the Energy Star certified logo to make sure you keep down your home temperature and your utility bill.

What to Consider When Buying Fans for My Home?

What types of fans are there?

What are the best fans for cooling a home?

Most fans do not cool a home, they only circulate air around, which helps your body move heat from your skin into the air. In order to cool a home, a fan needs to get hot air out of the building. In these cases, permanently installed attic fans and bath fans ventilate hot air from near the ceiling of the room, through air ducts and out of the room.

What to Consider When Buying Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers?

What size dehumidifier do I need for my house?

As a baseline, a 30-pint dehumidifier should be emptied once a day for 1,200 sq. ft. homes and basements.

How do dehumidifiers work?

Like droplets condensing on a cold can of soda, dehumidifiers suck in air and collect its moisture by running the air against cold pipes inside.

What is the best dehumidifier for a damp basement?

The best dehumidifier is one strong enough for your size basement and its amount of humidity. For a 3,000 sq ft damp space, consider a 70-pint dehumidifier, and empty it whenever it gets full.

Where can I buy dehumidifiers? delivers dehumidifiers around the U.S. and Canada at members-only prices.

What to Consider When Buying a Heater?

There are a lot of sources for heating. You don't always need the large options that need to be built into your home during construction or renovation like radiators and furnaces.


For an immediate heating solution, look into more portable space heaters like:

  • Electric space heaters
  • Electric panel heaters
  • Electric fireplaces


For outdoor spaces, look into: