What is the Best Home Air Conditioner to Buy?

Posted by admin on January 04, 2016

When it’s time to buy a new home air conditioner, you want to be certain you’re getting the best possible cooling solution for your home. Unfortunately there’s not a one-size-fits all solution, no ‘best home air conditioner’ to recommend to every homeowner, renter, and builder. There is however, an option out there for your unique circumstances, your home size, and your willingness to invest up front for long term efficiency. It’s important to understand your options, how your ideal home air conditioner is determined by your needs, and how to get the best possible installation. 

Your Options

Generally speaking, you have four options for your home air conditioner; some homes may benefit from a combination of these to maximize efficiency and comfort. 

Central Air
Your traditional whole-home cooling system, utilizing a condensing unit, an evaporative unit, and the same ductwork as your heating system. Sized properly, these can be very efficient for homeowners who need to keep every room of the house cool and comfortable during the hot months.

Window Air Conditioner
Window units or ‘unitary’ air conditioning systems are simple self-contained air conditioning systems placed in a window or wall opening. Heat is blasted out the back, cool air out the front. A properly sized window unit can keep individual rooms, even large ones, completely cool and comfortable, but they lack efficiency on a larger scale.

Portable Air Conditioner
A variation of the window unit, these unitary air conditioners work similarly, but instead of venting heat straight out of the back they vent through a hose you’ve run outside. These aren’t particularly efficient, quiet, or convenient, but they do offer versatility in cooling different rooms at different times as needed.

Ductless Mini Split
You may already be familiar with the commercial cousin of the ductless mini split, the units you see in hotels and motels. These systems don’t utilize ducts, instead attaching to both sides of an exterior wall. Usage-wise, think of this as a bigger, extremely-efficient cousin to the window unit as it keeps a single space cool. 

The Importance of Sizing

Few factors matter more when selecting your perfect air conditioning unit than sizing. Buy a window or central air unit too small for your home, and it simply won’t do the job. Buy a unit that’s too big however, and you’ll find inadequate dehumidifying leading to discomfort and moisture, short cycling driving up your power bills, and a host of other problems. In most cases, you’ll want to get a professional to look over your house and determine your ideal unit size, as the consequences of a poor decision here can be massive in the long term.

Investing in Efficiency

Generally speaking, more efficient units will cost you more on the front end. A window unit and a ductless mini split may offer similar usage and efficacy, but the mini split will be more expensive to install and cost far less to run. The same goes for high quality central air systems versus cheaper installations with inferior ductwork.

Do you need every room cool? Central air or multiple mini splits will be your best choice. Just need one cool at a time? Portables and window units may work best.

Finding Your Best Home Air Conditioner

Now that you know your options, maybe you’re ready to ask a few questions. Contact us today for answers!

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