Picking the right type of air conditioner, AC, or central air system is best for your home or business depends upon a number of things. Here are a few basics you need to consider when choosing a cooling system.
Factors to consider include:
- Size of the house or building,
- Location of the house and exposure to the sun,
- Budget to install,
- Budget to pay for energy to operate and maintenance,
- Existing cooling system installations,
- Structure of the building and ability to install something new,
- Type of installation qualities desired by the owner.
Here are general options for types of air conditioning systems:
- Split system:
- Split systems have hot coil and cold coil sections separated into two different units. The hot side is the condensing unit which is located outside of your home. The cold side is the air conditioner which usually found inside the home with the furnace. The system pushes cool air into the duct system and cools the house.
- Heat pumps:
- Heat pumps are split systems that can be used to both cool and heat your home using electricity. They are more efficient than pure electric heaters because they take warmth from outside to heat your home, even when it is cool outside. Heat pumps may be useful when you have a need to both cool and heat your building or special sections of your building.
- Room air conditioner:
- These are also known as window units. These units are great for smaller homes or spot cooling in specific rooms. They allow each room’s temperature to be controlled independently but are generally less efficient.
- Central air conditioner:
- Central air conditioners have one cooling unit that usually pushes cold air through a system of ducts in your home. Cold air sent through ducts is controlled by adjusting individual vents in each room. You can also section the house in order to control the temperature with different thermostats that control automatic duct valves. This can help lower the cost of your energy bill by only cooling where you need it.
- Ductless mini-split system:
- If you have an old house or a house where HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) wasn’t in the plans, this system might work for you. This is similar to room air conditioners but are permanently installed. These systems do not require ducts, and the condensing units are installed outside. A single ductless unit is ideal for smaller homes; if you have a larger home it will struggle to cool the entire home. Therefore, you may need to consider multiple mini splits for your building.
- Evaporative air conditioner:
- Also, known as swamp coolers, great for dry climates. However, during the short monsoon season this system can leave you miserable; as they should not be used for humid climates. They need to evaporate air before they can start to cool.