Did you know that the first air conditioner was invented in 1902? It’s a much older technology than people typically think. However, air conditioners didn’t become commercially viable for residences until the 1960s and 70s, when they started to become more commonplace.
Over the years, inventive HVAC pros have come up with new ways to control the temperature in homes and places of business. There are now 5 popular types of air conditioners available on the market. If you’re on the hunt for a new A/C, you should know about them. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about them below.
1. Central Air Conditioners
Central air conditioners are probably the kind of AC you’re most familiar with, especially if you’ve lived in a newer suburban home. These units are equipped with a furnace for heat, an outdoor compressor that helps cool the air, and it’s all connected by a system of ducts that spill cool air into various rooms in your home.
The benefit of these kinds of systems is that they’re very energy efficient. Controlled by a thermostat, these systems can cycle on and off once your home has reached its target temperature. The other air conditioners on this list have to be manually controlled for the most part.
These systems can also cool your entire home, whereas the others on this list can only cool about one room at a time.
However, the drawbacks are that this system is expensive to install and maintain. The ducts are prone to leakage, and the main components require semi-regular maintenance and inspection.
2. Ductless Air Conditioners
Ductless air conditioners are a newer innovation in the HVAC industry. These units basically have miniature versions of everything found in a central air system. They’ve got compressors, heating elements evaporator coils, and a thermostat.
The pros of these systems are that they’re much cheaper to install, easier to maintain and are prone to malfunction less often. They’re also much more compact, so you don’t need a furnace taking up the entire space of a closet in your house.
The drawback to these units, however, is that they’re small. And while some can provide enough power to cool several rooms, most models are only good for one room. They’re also a bit louder than central A/C, which is nearly silent.
3. Window Units
Window units are the bread and butter of air conditioning for city folk. If you’ve lived in a small apartment in a major city before, you’ve probably become well acquainted with window unit air conditioners. They’re also great for people living in trailers, RVs, and other small spaces.
These units have several benefits. The first is that they’re incredibly cheap. You can get a small window unit for under 150 bucks and you can buy one used for cheaper. They also require no professional installation. You can do it yourself with just a drill and a couple of screws.
The downsides, however, can be a deal breaker for some people. For one, they take up an entire window of your home, rendering it useless for anything other than holding your AC. They’re also difficult to seal depending on what your window frame looks like, so they often leak hot outside air.
They’re also quite loud. If you were to watch a movie in a room with a window unit, you’d have to turn the TV up pretty loud. They also have to be manually controlled, so if you forget to turn it off, your energy bill could skyrocket.
4. Portable Air Conditioners
Portable air conditioners are similar to window units in that they require access to a window for drainage. But the unit itself actually sits inside your residence. These units are also great for DIYers and people living in small spaces. They’re also super easy to move around various parts of your residence. Like window units, they’re incredibly cheap as well.
The cons, however, are numerous. The units are much bigger than window units and since the entire unit is inside your home, they can take up quite a lot of space. They’re also about equally loud as a window unit. They also can’t cool a very large area. They’re typically only good for about one room at a time. they also have a lower energy efficiency rating than most of the other AC units mentioned in this article.
However, certain models of portable air conditioners can self-cycle like central or ductless ACs if you’re willing to pay a bit more.
5. Hybrid Heat Pump Air Conditioners
Hybrid heat pumps are considered hybrid because they use both electricity and fossil fuels for energy. These units are variations of traditional AC systems mentioned first in this article.
These particular units work by pumping the hot air inside your home outside, making your house cooler in the summer months. In the winter, these units do the opposite. They take warmer air outside your home and pump it inside your home, making your home cozier.
The pros of these heat pumps conditioner are that they’re a bit more energy efficient than traditional central air units, since they can cycle between electric and gas energy sources.
Heat pumps can also heat and cool a house by itself. It doesn’t need the accompaniment of a furnace to provide warmth, which means these systems are much more compact.
The drawback to heat pumps, however, is that they don’t work as well in climates that stay below freezing for an extended period of time. This sure isn’t an issue in Texas, though.
Now That You Know About the Different Types of Air Conditioners…
Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand the pros and cons of the various types of air conditioners available on the HVAC market these days. You can use this information to make an informed decision on your next big AC purchase.
If you need help repairing or maintaining your AC unit, no matter what you choose, be sure to contact us. We’ve got the experience you need to get the job done right.
Replacing an air conditioner is a big investment! When it comes to deciding on the best type of AC unit for your home, it is important to find the best HVAC installation North Dallas has to offer. The AC pros at Chill Air Concept specialize in air conditioner replacement and repair. Request an Appointment online or call the Chill Air Team at (972) 699-8080 to schedule your appointment today!