According to the U.S Department of Energy, homeowners across the country spend $11 billion dollars per year to power their AC. That’s a lot of money spent on cool air throughout the year. When it’s time to replace your air conditioning system, it can be an overwhelming situation.
Your AC unit represents a large investment into your home and budget, so you definitely want to get your money’s worth. But how do you know which one is right for your home? Evaluating your AC unit size, high-efficiency features, home requirements, quality, cost, and all of the other features of any air conditioning system is enough to make your head spin. We are here to make it simple and easy to help you make the best choice for your family, home, and wallet.
Types of AC Units
There are six different types of air conditioners that are each designed for a different space/reason. These six types of AC units are the basic central AC, ductless, window unit, portable unit, hybrid, and geothermal.
Central Air Conditioners
A central air conditioner combines the evaporator, condenser, and compressor in a single unit that is placed on a roof or a concrete slab near the foundation. When placing units on the roof make sure to enlist a full team of qualified contractors including a rooftop specialist. From the unit, ducts running through the exterior wall or roof draw air from inside the house and return cooled air indoors. This type of air conditioner can also be combined with a set of heating coils or a natural gas furnace inside the building.
Ductless, Mini-Split Air Conditioners
This is a good choice for houses that do not have ductwork. The ductless, mini-split systems combine an outdoor compressor and condenser with one or more indoor air-handling units. These units are mounted on the wall with blowers attached. Tubing connects the indoor and outdoor units and circulates refrigerant between them.
Each room in your home will have a separate unit that cools just that room, similar to a window unit. These can be installed without tearing up walls, and allow the temperature to be controlled independently in each room. They can be more energy efficient, but are more expensive if you’re cooling an entire house.
These are the most common types of AC units for single rooms. All of the components are enclosed in a single box with a single thermostat gauge that is fitted in a slot made in the wall or window sill where the unit sits.
This is similar to a window system, but it can be moved from room to room. It’s self-contained and freestanding on the floor so you can move it from room to room or apartment to apartment. It only uses an outlet to power on and a window to funnel out the exhaust air.
Hybrid Air Conditioner
Hybrid type of AC unit systems alternate between burning fossil fuels and using electricity to save money and energy while running your system. In the summer, the heat pump works as it normally does, pulling heat from your home and distributing it outdoors. In the winter, your hybrid heat pump system works in reverse, pulling heat from the outside environment and distributing it into your home.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
As a newer method of heating and cooling, geothermal technology is able to extract the heat from below the ground and transfer it into your home. A geothermal coil is installed deep in the ground and can be used to heat and cool your home. In the winter, heat is extracted from the Earth; in the summer, heat is extracted from your home and distributed back into the ground. This is very sustainable, energy efficient, and provides a longer lifespan than other options.