When purchasing or replacing an air conditioning system, there are many choices available to the consumer. It can be very confusing and frustrating trying to figure out which system will be the best choice. Here is an overview of the different types of air conditioners and the space required for operation.

Window Air Conditioning Unit

Window air conditioners are single units that are easily installed in a window. They are the cheapest type of air conditioners to purchase and are fairly easy to install and maintain. They work best in small areas of 100 to 300 square feet or less. They are the perfect size for dorm rooms and studio apartments. The drawbacks to this type of unit are that they only cool small spaces and would not be adequate for a larger apartment or house.

Portable Air Conditioners

This type of air conditioner can be used in combination with a window air conditioner or as a backup in an emergency. The portable air conditioner is a self-contained cooling unit capable of cooling spaces up to 500 sq. ft. Can be used to supplement a cooling system when it is extremely hot or use to cool a small office space or bedroom. Portable coolers are convenient because they can be moved to any room in the house with a standard electrical outlet.

Split Air Conditioners

Ductless or Split air conditioning systems work similar to central air conditioning systems in that each room has a vent that blows out cool air and is set by a thermostat. The difference in the two systems is that ductless systems do not require a duct system to work and each room or “zone” is controlled by its own thermostat for customized cooling. The system consists of two parts, a condensing unit that is installed on the exterior wall of the home and an evaporative unit installed inside the home in each room. This type of system is good for smaller homes that do not have a basement or enough space to install duct work.

Central Air Conditioning

Central air conditioning systems are the choice for larger homes due to the capacity for a larger cooling load. This type of system is sized for the square footage of the home and is very efficient at maintaining the comfort levels set by the thermostat. A programmable thermostat can be used with this type of system for customizing comfort levels and can be a money-saver if used correctly. Central air systems require duct work inside the home and work best in homes over 500 square feet. When purchasing a central air conditioner it is very important to size it accurately for optimum efficiency and savings. A system that is too small will not adequately cool the home and a system that is too large will use more energy and be a money-hog.

Upgrading to a new central air conditioning system will help save money because the newer systems are more energy-efficient and the cost can be defrayed by rebates and tax incentives. Some states even offer rebates from utility companies for customers with new central air systems. An HVAC technician can accurately size one for you and recommend Energy Star products that will save money and be very efficient.

ABA Heating and Cooling are the AC repair and replacement specialists in Austin. Our technicians are NATE-certified and can help you choose a new central air system based on the size of your home and your family’s comfort needs. Call us today for an evaluation of your current system and let us recommend something that will work better for you.