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Choosing the Right Air Conditioning System

July 26, 2021

Keeping cool in the warmer months is crucial. A great way to do that is to have an air conditioning system installed in your home. With various types of units to choose from, we’ve put together a guide to help you find the right air conditioner to meet your needs.

Central Air Conditioner

For larger homes, a central air conditioner, or a duct system, is an excellent option for cooling multiple rooms at once. These types of air conditioners work by using a split system that moves the air through your home’s ductwork. To cool your home, a central air conditioner is made up of an outside unit that houses the condenser and compressor and an interior unit that houses the evaporator coils and air handler. This system removes heat from the indoor air using a refrigerant, pulling hot air outside and pushing cool air through your ducts.

Pros of a central air conditioner:

  • Cooling all the rooms connected to the ducts at one time creates a more regulated temperature around the home in a short amount of time.
  • As all the rooms in the home are cooled, the humidity in the house is reduced overall. This helps create a more comfortable indoor environment.

Cons of central air conditioner:

  • Requires a lot of energy to operate, leading to higher utility bills.
  • You may find the outdoor unit to be unsightly or clashing with your home’s exterior.
  • If you encounter an issue with your ductwork, your air conditioner may lose effectiveness and efficiency.

Ductless Mini-Split

If your home doesn’t have ductwork or you want to cool a particular area of your home, a ductless mini-split air conditioner is a great option. This system works using an outdoor unit that houses a condenser and compressor. In addition, this system can work with one or more indoor units mounted to the wall and use air blowers to circulate the cool air. Both the indoor and outdoor units are connected to tubing with a refrigerant that circulates through them.

These are smaller units, so each room you want to cool will have its indoor unit. These units can be adjusted via remote control.
Pros of a ductless mini-split:

  • They are more energy-efficient compared to other cooling options.
  • They do not require ductwork and can be installed easily.
  • Each room can be set at its temperature, allowing each family member to customize their environment.

Cons of a ductless mini-split:

  • You can’t cool a larger home with one ductless mini-split unit.
  • You may find the wall-mounted unit to be unsightly or have difficulty matching it to your indoor d├ęcor.

Hybrid/Dual Fuel Air Conditioner

With a hybrid or dual fuel system, you combine a gas furnace with an electric air-source heat pump. This combination provides a cost-effective, efficient way to heat and cool your home.

This system works based on the temperature outdoors, switching between the usage of electricity and fossil fuels. When you program the temperature, the system will switch from heat pump to furnace or manually change the use.

This system will use the heat pump to pull the hot air from inside of the home and push it outdoors in the summertime. In the winter, the system reverses this process and distributes heat throughout the house. If the temperature is too cold for the heat pump to work, the system will turn on the furnace.
Pros of a hybrid/hybrid/dual fuel air conditioner:

  • Create a more comfortable environment efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • With the hybrid system switching between fuel types, you can lower your carbon footprint.

Cons of a hybrid/dual fuel air conditioner:

  • Your savings may break even in the long run.
  • The initial setup can be pricey.

Smart Air Conditioner

A smart air conditioner is a window, portable, or mini-split air conditioner that is Internet of Things (IoT) enabled. This means the AC can be connected to Wi-Fi and controlled through an app on your smartphone or other devices.
Depending on the brand, the smart ACs feature various functionalities such as temperature range control, comfy mode, scheduling, and more to provide you with a comfortable home at an energy-saving cost.

Pros of a smart air conditioner:

  • Enjoy superior comfort.
  • Numerous features to make cooling your home more convenient and energy-efficient.
  • Save on your energy usage.

Cons of a smart air conditioner:

  • Comes at a higher cost than other AC units.
  • Requires a Wi-Fi connection to utilize the numerous features.

Geothermal Air Conditioner

This is a newer type of heating and cooling that uses the insulating properties of the earth to function. Temperatures under four to six feet of land are consistent all year round, regardless of weather, so geothermal air conditioners utilize these consistent temperatures to heat and cool your home.

A geothermal air conditioner is made up of looped piping, circulating water between your home, the heat pump, and the ground.

Pros of a geothermal air conditioner:

  • Extremely efficient when it comes to energy usage.
  • Longer lifespan than many other types of air conditioning systems.

Cons of a geothermal air conditioner:

  • Require extensive work to set up since the loops need to be installed underground.
  • This system carries a high installation and setup cost.

Tips for Choosing the Right Air Conditioner

There are several things you need to consider when choosing a new air conditioner:

Budget

Consider how much you can spend and how many rooms you need to cool. You can opt for a ductless or mini-split unit if you only need to cool a few rooms. The cheapest air conditioner options are window units, and portable ACs and conventional air conditioning systems are priced between smart ACs and geothermal units, which are the most expensive.

Maintenance

Some units require more maintenance than others, so be sure to determine how much time you can dedicate to care to ensure you can prolong the life of your unit.

Space Requirements

You need to consider the size of your home and ensure that you choose a unit large enough to efficiently cool all the areas you want to cool in the house.

Energy Consumption

Every homeowner wants to save on their energy bills, so you want to make sure you purchase an energy-efficient system that can lower your costs when choosing an air conditioner.

BTU Capacity

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and measures the heating or cooling capacity of your air conditioning system. You want to check this unit of measure when purchasing an air conditioner because it tells you how much heating or cooling power the unit has. The higher the BTUs, the higher the heating or cooling capacity.

The most common BTU capacities typically range between 6,000 to 12,000. This would be suitable for a standard living room. By choosing the right size AC for your room, you can save on energy consumption while also providing ultimate comfort.

Air Conditioning Installation Services

At Jacob Heating & Cooling, our experienced team can help you find the best air conditioning unit for your home, and we can expertly install your system to keep you cool all summer long! Contact us today to learn more!

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