If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, the choices can be overwhelming. Modern AC units have energy-efficient options, and environmental regulations have likely changed since your original unit was purchased. Or, if this is your first AC, you may not even know what type to look for. The decision will be based on a number of factors, including your home’s infrastructure, your budget, and your needs. The first consideration will be what type of unit to buy- to make this step easier, here is a guide to your options.
Central Air Conditioning
A central AC system utilizes ductwork to pump cooled air throughout your entire home. While this is the most expensive option, it can also be the most energy-efficient and therefore offer lower bills. While most new homes are outfitted with central AC, older structures may not have the capability, making central AC impractical. In more urban locations, the required outdoor compressor can be an obstacle here. But if you do have the ability to choose a central AC system, they keep your entire home comfortable, keep the temperature consistent, and offer eco-friendly options.
If you live in an urban area or do not have the ducts required for central AC, a single unit that sits in the window is likely your best option. These units pump cool air throughout the room, pumping hot air outside the window. Because these only cool a single room, you will likely need multiple units, which is less energy-efficient. However, each unit is much cheaper than putting in central AC, so the upfront cost may be more favorable. Because they don’t require any structural changes, these are also the best option for renters.
Portable Air Conditioners
For those who need more flexibility, perhaps often moving between apartments or rooms, a portable unit can be a good choice. They are slightly less efficient than window units, but an ideal solution if the room you want to cool has no window or no outlet near the window. Portable units offer an even more convenient and flexible version of a window unit and often have more pleasing aesthetic options.
A split system is not as hidden as central air as it requires large units to be placed throughout your home, but they are a less expensive alternative. However, a ductless mini-split AC has a few advantages over the central systems- room temperatures can be controlled individually, and they don’t require ducts to be built into a home. Because the air doesn’t travel through long ducts, ductless split systems can be much more energy-efficient than central AC units. And, these systems usually offer heat as well as AC!
In addition to a style of AC unit, you will also want to consider other factors. Making sure your selection is the right size for your room is crucial as it can determine the square footage easily cooled. You should also identify any conveniences you’d like to have such as various fan settings, remote control, or eco-friendly settings. If you aren’t sure where to start, consult our team at Comfort Experts for advice!
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