Have you been wondering what kind of air conditioning system is just right for your home? Maybe you’re thinking about options like central air, portable units, window units, or others. The main thing to be clear about, however, is whether you think your home can accommodate ducted air conditioning or not.
In fact, when decision time comes, most homeowners have four basic types of AC to select from. All four come with their own set of pros and cons, and of course they’re all available in a wide range of prices.
What are the four options, and how do they stack up against each other? Here’s a quick summary of what you face when deciding on the most suitable AC system for your living space.
Ducted Air, or Central Ducted Systems
By far, the most popular and common kind of ducted air conditioning in modern homes is also known as “central air.” That’s because there is one “central” unit that operates as a headquarters of sorts. The main unit uses a fan to push cool air throughout the house.
Ducted air conditioning, aka central air systems, are a top choice among people who currently have forced-air heating in their homes. The typical BTU range runs from 18k to 60k. Additionally, ducted air conditioning systems tend to be very energy efficient, can cool the entire home via a series of ducts, requires professional installation, and can increase the resale value of a home.
The “Mini-Split” Ductless AC Unit
If you own a smaller place and don’t want to deal with having ductwork installed, the mini-split could be a smart choice. Not only is it an energy-efficient unit but it comes in a convenient range of BTU power, from 9k to 36k, and you will need a pro to install it for you.
Not only do mini-split units up the value of your home, they are perfect for older homes that usually lack ductwork.
The popular, free-standing devices can cool any area you want, but generally only work well when used to cool one room. One of the big benefits is that anyone can install them without professional help. Plus, their BTU range runs from 7k to 14k, enough to keep even a larger room quite cool during summertime.
While portable AC units are not very energy-efficient and won’t improve the value of a home, they are a wonderful option for people who, for whatever reason, can’t use window units where they live. For example, some homeowners associations do not allow window units but do allow portables.
Standard Window Units
If you want BTU power between 5k to 25k and are okay with self-installation, then window units can get the job done for your living quarters. In fact, you can use them in individual rooms of homes or apartments. They won’t up your home’s value but the better brands are energy efficient.
Find the Best System for Your Home
When making your final decision, remember to consider key factors like total price, the amount of BTU power you need, whether you want professional installation or not, and how large of a space you need to cool. Fortunately, today’s AC market offers something for every taste, lifestyle, and budget.