For many people, choosing a new air conditioning system can feel overwhelming.
You want to pick out a system that is sized properly for your space so you get maximum value for minimal energy cost, and that doesn’t require you to make expensive modifications to your space.
In this post, learn about the three main types of home air conditioning systems and how to determine which system is best for your space.
Meet the Three Types of Air Conditioners
There are three main types of air conditioning systems in use today, and each one can work well in certain types of spaces.
1. Split Air Conditioning System
The split air conditioner is the type most homeowners are already familiar with. This system houses half of its components indoors and the other half remains outside. Inside, you will find the blower fan and evaporator coil, while the compressor and condenser coil remains outside.
This type of A/C unit, often called a “central air conditioner,” uses a system of air ducts to conduct cooled air to different parts of the home. It also has an air filter to help trap airborne particles and remove them from the air.
Split A/C systems can be as simple or complex as a space demands, serving single or multi-story homes and integrating with third-party appliances such as air filtration systems, ultraviolet purifiers, heat recovery ventilators and more.
2. Packaged Air Conditioning System
Packaged A/C systems also rely on a system of indoor air ducts to transport cooled air throughout your home or office.
These systems get their name from the single unit design – instead of splitting off the condenser and compressor from the blower and evaporator, all are housed together inside the home or on the roof.
These systems are particularly popular where space is at a premium, in hotter climates and when a rooftop installation is preferred.
3. Ductless Air Conditioning Systems
Ductless A/C systems have been popular in Asia and Europe for many years but are just now starting to make an appearance in North America. Their rising popularity is well-justified.
Ductless air conditioners take up far less space than ducted A/Cs and free up valuable floor space in cramped quarters. Since only a small hole is necessary for mounting on a wall, they are also far less invasive than many ducted systems.
Ductless air conditioners, as their name suggests, do not require installation of an air duct system to work. And they can be set up to work in zones to adjust temperature differently in different parts of the home or office, making for more affordable, efficient cooling.
Sizing Your New Air Conditioning System
The next step is to determine what size and capacity of air conditioner is the right fit for the size and configuration of your space.
In past decades, it was popular to take a “the bigger the better” approach to sizing air conditioners. We now know this is a mistake, and a costly one at that. Installing an A/C unit too big for your house can drive up your utility bills, create indoor humidity and generate extra repairs.
There are several measures that can help determine which air conditioner is sized properly for your space and cooling needs.
Cooling capacity is a term that measures how quickly and effectively an A/C unit can cool your space in 60 minutes.
Two different measurements are used to calculate cooling capacity: BTUs, or British Thermal Units, and tonnage. It doesn’t matter which unit of measurement is used. What is important to know is that 12,000 BTUs is equal to 1 ton of cooling capacity.
SEER is a term that stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. You can think of this like the mpg (miles per gallon) ratings for various cars. Some cars just get more miles per gallon of gas.
In the same way, some air conditioners just get more cooling capacity per unit of energy. SEER is not tied to the size of the unit, however, but to the local climate where you live. Two identically sized units can and often do have very different SEER ratings.
The best option here is to look for an air conditioner that is Energy Star-certified. This basically means the A/C unit uses less energy to do the same work as other similar units.
As you might imagine, it can take some number crunching to match the right cooling capacity and SEER rating to the size and configuration of your space.
This is called the load calculation, and it factors in more than 10 different variables to arrive at the right unit for you.
Get a FREE, No Obligation A/C Quote
Is your existing A/C unit starting to show signs of old age? Are you in the market for a new unit but are not sure what size, configuration or options to choose?
Let us help you! One of our prompt, professional and highly trained service technicians will meet you at your home to analyze your cooling needs and generate a free, no-obligation quote for a properly sized, highly efficient and affordable air conditioner.
Complete this online form to schedule your quote.
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