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6 Different Types of Air Conditioners | Choosing Your A/C
Having to choose a new air conditioning system for your home can be a stressful and confusing time. With all the different types of air conditioners on the market, the possibilities may seem overwhelming. Depending on your situation, you might even be under a time constraint and have to choose a new system soon.
1. Central Air Conditioning
Of all the different types of air conditioners, this is the most common type of cooling system as it is the most preferable for larger homes due to its ability to cool efficiently. Central air conditioners circulate cool air through supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and registers, which are in the wall or floors, carry cooled air into the home. Then, once the air becomes warm it circulates back into the supply ducts and registers where it will then be transported back to the air conditioner.
Installing a central air conditioning system requires a lot of planning and preparation as sizing is crucial to the functionality of the system. If you install a system that is of the wrong size, even if it’s energy-efficient, you’ll find that your utility costs are more than they should be.
2. Ductless, Mini-Split Air Conditioner
Ductless, mini-split systems are most common in parts of the home that have been retrofitted. Like central air conditioning systems, these systems have an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor handling unit.
If you’re looking to cool individual rooms in your house, this system might be just for you. Many ductless, mini-split systems can have as many as four indoor handling units, which are all connected to the outdoor unit.
Each zone has its own thermostat, allowing you to adjust the temperature for each room accordingly. This is especially advantageous if you’re wanting to cool only a particular part of the house that is being used.
3. Window Air Conditioner
Think of a window air conditioner as a compact unit, cooling only one particular room. Also known as a “unitary unit,” this system is installed in the window of a room.
Window units cool a room be emitting the warm air out the back of it and blowing cool air into it. These types of units are best for those who live in small spaces. It would not be ideal for a larger home as you will discover that it doesn’t cool efficiently in that kind of environment.
4. Portable Air Conditioner
Portable air conditioners are considered as the next generator of window units. This type of air conditioning unit takes in air from the room and cools it, then directs it back into the room. The unit then vents any warm air outside by means of an exhaust hose that is installed in a window.
Like window air conditioning units, portable air conditioners are designed to cool only one room. They’re easy to install, versatile, and an affordable option. You’ll find that the portability of your air conditioner makes staying cool on a hot summer day that much easier.
5. Hybrid Air Conditioners
Like hybrid cars, hybrid heat pump systems alternate between burning fossil fuels and using electricity to run. The system intelligently chooses between the two energy sources in order to save money and energy. You won’t have to be held hostage by rising energy prices.
In the summer, your 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. If you remember the Second Law of Thermodynamics from high school, you know that heat gets transferred from a hot object to a cold object. When the refrigerant drops below the outside temperature, the heat from the outdoors gets transferred to your heat pump’s coils and thus into your refrigerant. Now, the extracted heat can be turned into warm, conditioned air for your home.
Geothermal energy is sustainable, energy-efficient, and has a long lifespan. Since the ground temperature below us remains a fairly consistent 55 degrees no matter how hot or cold it is in the atmosphere, geothermal technology is able to extract the heat from below and transfer it into your home. A geothermal coil (”loops” or “wells”) 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.
For a more in-depth look into the different types of air conditioning systems, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s infographic:
Count on Service Legends for all things HVAC related. We can educate you on all the different types of systems and help you choose the one that is best for you and your budget. We will then provide you with upfront pricing so that you know the exact cost of the work before we begin. For more information, visit us online or give us a call at 515-657-6634.Return