As the chill of winter subsides, you can turn your attention toward the most important part of summer: staying comfortable. Along with the lemonade and iced tea, you can stay cool with the right type of air conditioning.
Experts estimate home air conditioners will last between 12 and 17 years. If your air conditioner is nearing one of these birthdays, perhaps it’s time to look into a new unit. But how do you know which type of AC system works best for your particular home?
By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand the types of AC systems available and know which one will work best for you and your home.
Central Air Conditioner
Central air conditioners work best to cool an entire home. They consist of a large appliance outside the home and an evaporative unit indoors attached to your furnace.
The outdoor unit has a compressor, condensing fan, and condensing coils. The evaporative unit sits in the chamber between your furnace and the duct system.
A central air conditioner system will use the blower fan and ductwork that your hearing system uses. Typically, you will have a drain tube that moves condensed moisture from the evaporator coils to a floor drain.
These home air conditioners work best to cool an entire home. They cool the air and then push it through the ducts to the various rooms in your home. You can still control the temperature in individual rooms by closing ducts in those rooms.
When you select a central air unit, size matters. If your unit is too small, it will run continuously and still not cool your home adequately. If it is too large, it will not run long enough to dehumidify your air.
A central home cooling system like central air will require professional installation and maintenance. Plan on having a maintenance man evaluate your system annually, preferably before the dog days of summer hit.
A heat pump is a type of unit that also qualifies as a central air unit. It functions differently than a typical central air unit in that it will both warm and cool your home.
It’s also more energy efficient than a traditional central air unit. A heat pump requires less energy because it blows out warm and cool air at a higher volume than an air conditioner will.
Window Air Conditioner
A window air conditioner works well if you need to cool a small space. It is a self-contained unit that you place in your window. Some homeowners will have a specific hole in the exterior wall for their unit.
The window air conditioner has the same function and refrigerant components that a larger unit has. It just keeps them condensed in a smaller box. The unit will remove heat through the condenser coils on the outside of your home and blow cool air into the room inside your home.
When you install a window air conditioner, tip it slightly back so that the moisture drips away from your home. If you tilt the unit forward, you will have water under your unit in your home.
Like central air units, window units come in many sizes. Smaller rooms require smaller units. Large window units will have the capacity to cool an entire small home.
Homeowners can typically install window units on their own. These simple units do not require regular professional maintenance. Rather, a homeowner can care for the unit on their own.
Portable Air Conditioner
Portable air conditioners work much like a window unit, except they do not rest in the window. They are mobile, self-contained units that will cool whatever room they sit in.
A portable unit will remove exhaust heat through a hose vent. This hose vent will pump warm air out through a window vent or exterior wall vent.
On the downside, a portable air conditioner is one of the noisiest home cooling systems. For this reason, many people use a portable air conditioner only when they need to cool a room under 500 square feet. Additionally, individuals will choose a portable air conditioner when installing a window unit isn’t practical.
If you use a portable air conditioner unit, you will need a way to drain evaporated water. Units typically have a reservoir for condensed water. You will have to either empty the reservoir regularly or set up a drain hose that will move water to a floor drain.
Split Air Conditioner
A split system consists of two units: an evaporative unit and a condensing unit. The condensing unit consists of the compressor, condenser fan, and condenser that sits outside your home.
The evaporative unit will distribute cool air. This unit looks like a rectangular box that you mount high on an inside wall. It will have an expansion valve, evaporator coil, and circulation fan.
You typically see split systems in residential homes, multi-unit buildings, and hotels. Homeowners that use steam or hot water radiator heat or electric heat typically choose a split system for cooling. Many split systems also have a heat component, and thus a homeowner can both cool and heat their home with the same system.
Many people choose a mini-split system because of its efficiency. You do not need ducts or an attic or basement evaporator unit to keep your home comfortable.
Pick the Best Types of AC Systems
The types of AC systems on the market today meet homeowners where they are. If you have a big home with multiple rooms and ductwork already in place, a central unit or a heat pump makes the most sense. If you do not have ductwork in place, then a mini-split makes sense.
Contact a local air conditioner professional today and see what they recommend. They make cooling and heating their business.
If you’re looking for a new way to cool your home, contact us. Our team shows up on time and gets the job done efficiently. We make your comfort our business.
Contact us today, and let us help you.