If you’re looking for an air conditioning system, it won’t take you long to discover that there are several different types on the market. Deciding which one is best for you is not always easy. This guide explains the differences between these systems to help you choose the best one for your home and budget.
The most common cooling unit, the central air conditioning system consists of an indoor blower and an outside condenser. The system delivers conditioned air through your home via ducts.
Control your central air conditioner from a thermostat, and it will turn on whenever the temperature gets higher than the setpoint that you select. The cool air goes through your home via ductwork and vents in each room.
If there’s a downside to the central air conditioning system is that it relies on ducts, which can be inefficient. Ensure that your ducts are well-sealed and insulated.
Ductless Mini-Split Units
As the name suggests, a ductless mini-split delivers conditioned air without ductwork. The system consists of one or more indoor air handling units connected to an outside compressor.
Without ducts, you don’t have to worry about air leaks. Instead, conditioned air is delivered directly from the source, which makes this system cheaper to operate.
The drawback is that, without multiple indoor units, this system will not cool your entire house. It will only cool the spaces where the air handlers are located. On the plus side, you’re not cooling unoccupied rooms, which saves energy.
The indoor air handling units operate independently of each other, meaning that you can set them at different temperatures for more custom comfort.
This system costs more upfront than a conventional central air unit. However, it is cheaper to operate, so you’ll save money in the long run. Also, if your home currently doesn’t have ducts to support an HVAC system, go with a ductless mini-split. Retrofitting a home for central air conditioning can be disruptive and costly.
Contrary to its name, a heat pump is a very effective cooling system. Heat pumps cool your home the same way a central air conditioner does. The biggest difference comes in the way your heat pump heats your home in the winter. Rather than heating the cold air around you, heat pumps absorb and condense heat from cold air and send it throughout your home. This approach to heating saves you more money than you might think.
No matter which type of system you decide on, take a look at the SEER rating. That’s the season energy efficiency ratio and it rates the cooling capacity and energy consumption of the unit. It’s kind of like the MPG of air conditioning. The higher the SEER, the better. A federal mandate requires manufacturers to meet a minimum of SEER 14, but the SEER goes as high as 21.
Keep in mind that all of the abovementioned systems will require routine maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. Schedule annual tune-ups in the springtime to prepare them for the summer heat. Be sure to also replace the filters every 30 to 90 days.Bottom line: McAtee Plumbing Heating & Cooling is here to help you meet all your air conditioning needs. Our expert team will answer your questions and point you down the right path. When you come to us, we explain the different types of air systems and help you choose one that is right for you. We stand by your side and put your needs above all else. If you would like to get started, contact us right away at (803) 335-5109.