COVID-19 has impacted everyone this year. This summer, you’ll want to reduce cooling costs as much as possible to save money and feel good while you spend more time at home than usual. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade your air conditioner (or if you’re finally ready to have your first AC installed), this is a great year to get a good deal on the best models.

All the different types of air conditioners and considerations that have to be made can seem daunting at first, but it’s crucial that you do your research. Air conditioners are investments that last a long time, so it’s important to pick the one that’s perfect for you and your home.

The 6 Types of AC Units

Although air conditioners can be set up in many ways by an HVAC specialist, there are six common types of residential air conditioners:

  1. Ductless Mini-Split
  2. Portable
  3. Window Unit
  4. Hybrid
  5. Central
  6. Geothermal

Each has its own benefits and downsides. Depending on your budget, home size, and your personal comfort, one of these options is likely to be a perfect fit for your home.

The Types of Residential Air Conditioners

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

These ACs combine an outdoor compressor and condenser with an indoor handling unit. Ducts aren’t necessary for these units, since they use refrigeration lines. With a ductless mini-split, you can cool individual rooms, and each section has its own thermostat so you can adjust the temperature of each room separately.

These systems have higher energy efficiency, but they’re harder to maintain and more expensive if you’re cooling a whole house. They work well for ductless homes, as you don’t have to go through the process of installing ducts.

Portable Air Conditioner

As the name suggests, portable ACs can be moved around with ease. They are self-contained, don’t need permanent installation, and are inexpensive. This is useful if you don’t need to cool your entire house, but rather one room at a time. However, they can only be used in one room at a time, and they tend to be louder than other systems. They’re also considerably less energy-efficient than other AC units.

Window Unit Air Conditioner

Window ACs are compact units and are contained in single rooms. The system expels heat from the room and brings cold air through the vents. They’re popular for homeowners due to their compact size and easy installation and low costs, but they won’t cool your whole home. Window units tend to work best in single rooms, since they don’t cool efficiently in larger spaces.

Hybrid Heat Pump/Air Conditioner

Hybrid systems switch between burning fossil fuels and using electricity in order to save money and energy. These systems can be used year-round, providing heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. When the temperature doesn’t allow the unit to run efficiently, it switches to using the fossil fuel source. This type of AC is best for homes in mild climates especially in the colder months, as it’s hard for it to pump heat when the temperature is below freezing. 

Central Air Conditioner

Central AC units send cool air through ducts, which then circulates through vents placed throughout the home. This type of system is common in commercial properties and is often put in new homes. A central AC should be used to cool a whole house, not just a few rooms. Installing a central AC takes a lot of preparation, and any mistakes will result in much higher utility costs. It’s important to work with a professional HVAC installer to get the right fit for your home.

Geothermal Air Conditioner

Geothermal air conditioning is a relatively new concept for both heating and cooling your home. It extracts and transfers heat between the earth and your home using geothermal coils installed deep in the ground. This is an energy-efficient and sustainable method of air conditioning but is challenging to retrofit, as it requires large-scale excavation, and often costs significantly more than other systems.

Get the Perfect Air Conditioner for Your Home

Finding the right air conditioning system takes time, research, and, if you’re going with a larger system, expertise. The process of installing a new unit can be intimidating for homeowners. At Max Heating and Air Conditioning, we want you to have a high-quality and efficient HVAC system that will keep you comfortable in any season. Talk to us before you pick up a portable air conditioner at your local hardware store. Get a free quote from us today to find the best air conditioner for your home, with a great warranty and quick service.