Air conditioning is one of the most important parts of modern life. The heat, humidity and general discomfort of summer make it nearly impossible to live without an air conditioner.
So what kind should you get?
There are a few different types available. Let’s take a look at the major types and see which might work best for your needs.
Window Air Conditioner
Window air conditioners are by far the most popular. These units usually sit on a window sill or fit into a permanent window installation. They can cost more than other types of air conditioning systems, but they produce much colder temperatures and last longer than portable units. This means you will still be cool in years to come.
Window units are perfect if your home is not equipped with central air. They can also work well for rooms that have a lot of windows, such as a sunroom or dining area. If you don’t have an existing window unit installed, you will need to determine the size of your window and what kind of unit you would like. The options for this type are nearly endless, but it is always a good idea to purchase a unit that exceeds the size requirements for your room.
Portable Air Conditioner
Portable air conditioners are just as the name implies. They can be easily moved between rooms or taken on trips without requiring any installation work. The downside is that they can’t cool as large an area as window units, and must be emptied regularly to prevent bacterial growth from moisture (especially in warmer environments). This can be as simple as opening a window and allowing the moisture to escape.
Portable air conditioners are always more expensive than other units, but they can still save you money in the long run by reducing your power bills. All portable air conditioning units require a plug-in, so make sure you have access to an outlet where you would like to use the unit.
Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner
Mini-split air conditioners are definitely a better option than window units, especially if you’re concerned with energy efficiency and longevity. These systems require minimal installation and they can cool up to 2200 square feet without freezing your bank account. They also do
Central Air Conditioner
Central air conditioners cool your entire house rather than one room at a time. The major drawback of central air conditioner systems is the expense, both up front and on maintenance costs. Another downside is that you need to leave a window open for ventilation through the central unit.
Ductless Air Conditioning
Ductless air conditioning is similar to central air conditioner systems, but with a few significant differences. Ductless air conditioning units are much cheaper than central AC, and won’t require an open window or venting to the outside. Like central systems, you need to leave a window open for ventilation through the ductless unit.
Evaporative coolers are not technically air conditioners. They use evaporation to attract moisture from the room and create a cooling sensation. These units rely on water to function, so they can be problematic in dry climates, or if the unit is turned off for an extended period of time (more than a few days).
Portable Evaporative Cooler
Portable evaporative coolers are just like traditional portable air conditioners, with the addition of a water reservoir for cooling. These are more expensive than their non-cooling counterparts and can be messy to use in dry climates. They do however have the benefit of cool air without the need for electricity or maintenance costs.
Air Cooled Condenser
Air cooled condensers are an energy efficient alternative to air conditioner systems. They do not require electricity, but they can be difficult to install and may need professional maintenance in the future.
There are many options for air conditioning in your home. It is important to make sure that the system you choose will meet your needs and expectations for years to come. Keep things like energy efficiency, longevity, ease of maintenance, and cost in mind when making a decision about which type of unit is right for you