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Which Type of Air Conditioner Is Right for You?


In states like Ohio, where summer temperatures can soar into the 80s, 90s, and above, having a functional air conditioning system is paramount to keeping you cool and comfortable. If you’re in the market for an air conditioner, you may have noticed that there are multiple types available.

The type of air conditioning unit that will work best for your situation depends on a variety of factors, including the age and size of your home. Let’s take a quick look at some of the differences between air conditioners.

Window Air Conditioner

A window air conditioner contains everything in one enclosure – the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and blower. Window units aren’t designed to cool down an entire home; they’re usually only able to cool one or two rooms effectively.

Older homes and apartments commonly have window air conditioners. Homeowners spend less money installing a window unit in each bedroom and living area than installing ductwork throughout a home. Smaller homes can also sometimes get by with a few window units and fans to help circulate the air.

Central Air Conditioning

A central air conditioning system, sometimes known as a split system, has two parts: an outdoor unit, known as the condenser, and the evaporator and blower inside. The cool air is circulated through ductwork shared with the furnace.

Most newer homes have central air conditioning. You will save more money running one air conditioning unit and letting the cool air disperse throughout your home than you will if you use multiple window units, especially in a larger home.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

In a ductless mini-split system, a condenser operates outside, just like a central air system. The difference is that in the ductless mini-split system, individual rooms have their own evaporator/blower units that connect to the condenser outside via their own refrigerant lines.

This type of system is much more popular outside the US, but it has a few key advantages. It allows houses without ductwork to have some of the advantages of a split central air system, and it also allows individuals to control the temperatures in their own rooms.

Portable Air Conditioner

Functionally, this type of air conditioner is similar to a window unit. Instead of being mounted in a window, it sits on the floor and is then vented through a window – or through a hole in the wall, if a window is not available.

These air conditioners work well in smaller rooms or homes where installing a window unit isn’t possible. The major downside of these units is that they can be quite noisy, due to the evaporator fan running constantly.

Conditioner Factors

When you’re choosing an air conditioner for your home, you’ll need to take several factors into consideration:

  • Is there ductwork? If there is no ductwork installed in the home, central air most likely won’t be practical; a mini-split, window, or portable air conditioner will be your best options.
  • What size is your home? If you live in a smaller home, a few window units may be sufficient. However, if you have a large home, many units will be necessary, which isn’t very efficient or practical. In this situation, a mini-split system may be a better choice.
  • Are window units practical? In certain situations, you may not be able to install window units where they’re needed. A portable air conditioner is likely your best bet

Every situation is different, but chances are, you can find a cost-effective air conditioning solution available for your home. Consult with an HVAC professional today to explore your options.

For all of your heating cooling needs, contact HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drains.

Posted in: Air Conditioning, Knowledgebase

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