When the weather is warm, your home may be feeling more like an oven, and air conditioning may be a top priority. Staying cool in the hot summer weather quite often requires more than sitting in front of a fan sipping ice cold drinks and wearing a minimum of clothes. For most of us, air conditioning has become more than a luxury. It is a necessary requirement for our comfort and productivity.
However, one size does not fit all. Comfort needs vary from household to household in a variety of ways, including heating and cooling. Fortunately, the term “air conditioner” is not limited to one particular system. This modern age of innovation and invention has created a wide variety of options in air conditioning systems. There is an air conditioner to suit every need and purpose, from cooling small or large areas to increase efficiency and mobility. If you are considering an upgrade to your air conditioner, you can feel secure in the knowledge that there is a system out there to suit your needs.
The perfect choice for you will be determined by your home, space, budget, and personal preferences. No matter what your preferences are, efficiency should always be a top priority. The more efficient your air conditioning system is, the lower the cost and effect on the environment. The best solution will balance your living conditions with efficiency. Options include central air conditioning, ductless mini split systems, window air conditioners, and portable AC units. Following are detailed descriptions of the most popular systems to help you choose the air conditioner that is best for you.
The Central Air Conditioning System
If you look at real estate and rental listings, you have seen that central air has become a big selling point. Central air systems are the most popular way to stay cool in the United States. While there are more work and time in the installation, there is one central unit that uses duct-work to push cooled air throughout your entire home. However, this type of air conditioner can also be the most costly and complicated way to stay calm. This is especially true if you live in an older home. The initial cost of equipment and installation is higher than other options. These types of air conditioning systems require boring holes through walls and placing duct-work throughout to reach the entire home. Special care must be taken in the construction and maintenance to prevent possible leaks and inefficiency. Central air also requires space outside the home for the installation of a compressor. The air pumps from the compressor and through the duct-work and vents throughout the home. While this can be highly efficient, the cost of equipment and installation can also be high and should be thoughtfully considered.
The Ductless Mini Split System
These are less expensive than central air conditioning systems, but costs go up according to the number of units needed for optimal comfort. The amount of money you spend on air conditioning will depend on how many units you wish to install and use throughout the year. The air conditioning unit is large and will be visible on your walls. If the appearance does not hinder you, you will appreciate the ability to control how air is used in each room. If you spend more time in some areas than others or have a family with individual comfort levels, this feature is convenient for ongoing costs and comfort options. Ductless systems are mounted on walls and require less cutting, and installation is simple. Duct-work is not an issue as cool air can be pumped directly into individual areas rather than forced to travel through yards of duct-work. These are efficient systems because cooled air does not have to travel as far to meet your needs.
Central air conditioning and ductless mini split system can serve more than one purpose. Not only will they keep your household cool in hot weather, but they can also be used to heat your home as the temperatures drop.
The Window Air Conditioner
Air conditioners that are installed in windows are more flexible because they are not permanent. Rather than buying and installing duct-work, cutting multiple holes, and installing large and heavy compressors, the unit is easily placed in an open window. These A/C systems are custom fitted to your windows with the compressor outside. The area around the unit is sealed to keep the cool air in and vented to push the warmer air outside. This air conditioning system is a good choice for use in small areas. If your home has smaller rooms and doors, one or more window units could be a good choice. The units are great for adjusting the comfort of individual bedrooms as well as kitchen, dining, and living areas. The window air conditioner is not suited for larger, wide-open spaces. If your home has an open concept design, ductless or central air systems are better options for efficiency in air flow.
The Portable Air Conditioner
If you rent and move on a frequent basis, do not have optimally sized windows or lack outlets near your windows, a portable unit could be a good solution. While these are less efficient than other air conditioning options, they can be vented through small windows or sliding doors. Portable air conditioners are lighter and have wheels which make them easier to move around. Their portability has encouraged suppliers to design with different decors in mind. You can choose a portable A/C system to match your furniture and style.
As you can see, an air conditioning upgrade does not have to be daunting. Just take a look at all of the options, and you will find the best air conditioner for you.