Air Conditioning 101: Beginner’s Guide To Air Conditioning At Home

An air conditioning unit is a must-have for every home. This cooling device takes warm air out and regulates air humidity in a room, making heat more bearable in the summer and every time you feel warm. 

But, not all air conditioners are the same. This home appliance staple comes in different shapes, sizes, and types. However, some units are better suited to your home and needs. Finding out the different types of air conditioners, the major parts, and their functions can help homeowners decide which one works for their homes. 

7 Types Of Air Conditioning Units  

Modern air conditioners are often energy-efficient, quieter, and smaller than their predecessors. But, they’re not at all invincible. After several years, an air conditioner could face some issues.  

If you want to have your AC great falls unit checked, repaired, or cleaned, just find the best heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) service providers in your area.

Knowing the types of air conditioning units will help you decide how and when to upgrade and replace your aging device. Here are the types:

  1. Central Air Conditioner- Because of its capacity to cool bigger and wider areas, central AC is the most common type of air conditioning system.  Central air, as it’s also called, typically forms part of an HVAC system. 
  2. Window Air Conditioner- Traditional homes in most parts of the world likely have this type of AC units sticking out from their windows. The mechanism of this device is simple: It sucks the warm air out and blows cool air into the room. 

A window air conditioner works independently from other units. This unit may be the best choice for homes located in temperate regions.     

  1. Split Air Conditioner- This type also features an outdoor compressor and an indoor handling unit, much like central air. Unlike the latter, though, split AC is used to cool a single room, which can be connected to the outdoor unit. This system works great for homes with newly-added rooms, as it doesn’t require complex installation and air conditioning repair works.  
  2. Portable Air Conditioner- True to its name, a portable AC can be used anywhere though they’re not that lightweight. These handy units work like window ACs, are generally cheaper than the latter, and can be transferred from one place to another, offering a better cost-saving solution.   
  3. Package Terminal Air Conditioner- Also known as PTACs, this type of AC is often installed in hotels and commercial establishments. Some homeowners have these units installed in their homes, too, because they’re cost-saving.    
  4. Smart Air Conditioner- It can be a window, mini-split, or portable air conditioning unit, but better. Smart ACs may be connected to a Wi-Fi and can be controlled remotely just by using a smart phone. Most smart ACs boast of energy-efficiency. 
  5. Geothermal Heating and Cooling- This is a relatively new technology that uses ground temperature to heat and cool your home. But, it’s also the most invasive, as coils need to be installed a few feet underground to efficiently regulate room temperatures.  

5 Main Things to Consider In Buying An Air Conditioning Unit 

Before flying off to buy a new AC unit, it’s best to think about these elements to provide you with an informed decision:

  1. Cost- Of the AC units earlier mentioned, window and portable devices are the cheapest, though their cooling power is limited. Central AC carries a higher price tag and is costly to run, but it’s more durable. Geothermal heating and cooling is the priciest upfront, but it’s highly energy-saving.    
  2.  Energy Consumption- An energy-efficient unit helps reduce your running costs. To know how your AC unit stands, just check the energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating. The higher the numbers, the more cost-efficient the appliance is.  
  3. Cooling Power – Air conditioning manufacturers have standards that measure a unit’s heating and cooling capacities, called British Thermal Units (BTU). Determine your room size to know which numbers are applicable to your room or building. As with other measurements, a higher BTU denotes better cooling and heating power. A moderately-sized room typically needs a unit with 6,000 to 12,0000 BTUs.
  4. Space Requirements – Don’t just go for a unit with high BTU for a small room, as you could waste too much energy and money. Getting a lower BTU rating for a big room won’t serve you well either, making your device work doubly hard just to cool you down.      
  5. Maintenance Needs-Almost all ACs require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them working for a longer time. Determine how much effort and cash you’re willing to spend on a regular basis to keep your device clean and in working order.     

Final Thoughts  

With many choices for home air conditioners, it can be challenging to know which one is the best choice. Knowing the different types of air conditioners and the most critical features to look for will surely help you come up with a smart decision.   

Whichever brand and type you choose, factor in your home space needs as well as the unit’s cooling and heating capacities.   

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