There are quite a few things to consider when buying an air conditioner. Some of these factors are cost, energy efficiency, air quality, and cooling capacity. Once you’ve decided to purchase one for your home or business, be sure to check all the different types of air conditioners available on the market today.
Explore your options and learn everything you need to know about the types of air conditioners here.
1. Central Air Conditioning System
Of all the different types of air conditioners, central air conditioning is the most preferable type of cooling system for most homes and businesses. If you own a large home and want to cool many rooms at once, this will be the most effective air conditioning system for you. This may be the most expensive and complex to set up and install, but it will be the easiest to use and most cost-effective in the long run.
The central air conditioning system is made up of two units: the condensing unit and the evaporative unit. The condensing unit generates the cool air then propels it into the evaporative unit, then the evaporative unit pushes and circulates the cool air through supply and return ducts.
Installing a central air conditioning system will require a lot of planning and preparation, and a professional for installation.
2. Portable Air Conditioner
If you want a convenient and affordable option for cooling down small spaces quickly, a portable air conditioner may be the right choice for you. This type of air conditioning system takes in air from the room, cools the air with a condenser coil contained inside the unit, directs the cool air back into the room, then sends the warm air outside through an exhaust hose.
Unlike the central air conditioning system, the portable air conditioner is designed to cool only one room. They’re also small, very easy to install, very mobile, and cheap. Some models come with wheels so you can move it around freely.
3. Evaporative Air Conditioner or Swamp Coolers
An evaporative air conditioner, also known as a swamp cooler, is a great choice for dry climates and since it acts as a humidifier, it isn’t recommended in humid areas. This type of cooling system is cost-effective, energy-efficient, and can be used for indoor and outdoor applications.
Swamp coolers mimic the natural process of evaporation. It utilizes water-soaked pads to cool the air. A fan pulls hot air into the unit, sends it through the pads that will evaporate the liquid into a gas, and then blows out the cooled air.
4. Window Air Conditioner
A window air conditioner, also known as a “unitary unit”, is installed in the window of a room and is most commonly used in apartments and single-level homes. This is the most common type of air conditioning system you can see around. This would not be ideal for a larger home but like the portable AC, this is enough to cool one room at a time.
Window units have a refrigerant cooling system that is pointed indoors and an exhaust system that is pointed outside. It cools a room by emitting warm air out the back and sides and blowing cool air inside.
This unit is typically the most cost-effective conditioning system available in the market and can be installed without professional help.
5. Geothermal air conditioning
Geothermal air conditioning is the most eco-friendly type of all the air conditioning systems. Geothermal energy is very sustainable and has a long life span. This technology utilizes and takes advantage of the ground temperature for cooling and heating air depending on the climate or season. This system uses a geothermal coil, often known as “earth loop”, which is an underground piping system.
In the winter, the piping system extracts heat from the earth and delivers it to your home; while in the summer, it does the reversed process – heat is extracted, then delivered back into the ground.
6. Ductless Split System Air Conditioner
If you are looking for a permanent cooling solution for your home or apartment with no ductwork, ductless air conditioners may be a suitable solution for you. Ductless air conditioners, also known as split systems, have an outdoor and indoor handling unit like a central air conditioning system.
This system is a great choice for cooling different rooms at different temperatures, as each zone has its own thermostat. This can lower your overall energy costs since you can choose to cool only a particular part of your home that is being used.
7. Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners
Packaged terminal air conditioners or PTACs are commonly found in hotels, condominiums, senior housing facilities, apartment buildings, and hospitals. Although they are most common in commercial settings, they are also a suitable option for your home.
One of the main advantages of a PTAC is having both cooling and heating system options in one air conditioning unit. These are often installed below a window or above the floor and have an exhaust system that sends warm air outside.