When the weather is sweltering hot, you want to ensure that you sleep comfortably at night and stay cool throughout the day when the weather is sultry. That starts with selecting an appropriate air conditioning system. Modern generation air conditioners are more energy-efficient than their predecessors. The former can save you money and keep you cool and for years to come. Therefore opt for them if you are planning to replace or upgrade your cooling system.
But where to begin? Choosing the appropriate air conditioning system can seem like an intimidating task. This guide aims to provide you with helpful information so that you can choose a suitable AC for yourself and your family and help you navigate through the complex decision-making process. Use this guide only for information purposes. A qualified cooling and heating professional can determine the perfect size and solution for your home and climate.
There are numerous types of ACs available, but selecting the right one comes down to whichever best suits your family’s budget, living space, and needs. The most typical residential cooling options are inclusive of:
Central Air Conditioners and what they are?
A central air conditioning system is the most conventional way to cool a home. The system includes an evaporator coil, which normally sits atop your furnace and cools the air inside your home and an external condenser unit that sits outside your home and expels heat. Additionally, your air handle or furnace works with your AC employing the fan to blow the chilled air via the ductwork of your home. As such cooling systems are integrated with your furnace system, it takes advantage of the furnace ﬁlter as well as any other air purifying equipment you have added, helping to clean air all over your home.
How Does Central Air Conditioning Work?
Such a gadget works by using your air handler fan or furnace to suck warm air through your home’s ductwork. When the air blows across the evaporator coil, it removes heat from the air, cooling it in the process. Refrigerant running through the coil absorbs the removed heat. The AC then pumps the coolant to the condenser, the part of your AC, which is outside your home. The condenser cools the refrigerant by expelling this heat into the outside air. The process repeats as long as the AC switch is turned on, your home will stay cool.
What are the benefits?
Rather than cool select rooms, the central air conditioners cool all the rooms in your home. They also tend to be a more cost effective solution when compared with ductless AC.
Ductless Split Air Conditioners, and what is it?
No ductwork is required for this type of AC system, making it the ideal choice for older homes that do not have ductwork.
A ductless split air conditioning system may have multiple indoor units, which chill the air. One can mount such units on a ceiling, floor, or even on a wall. Each unit chills the air inside the room in which it is installed, allowing users to set different temperatures for different rooms.
The power cable, refrigerant tubing, and condensate drain runs between the outdoor units and the indoor heads. A small hole is required in the wall to run the conduit between the outdoor and indoor units.
What is a Heat Pump?
A few of the above mentioned air conditioners are available in a variation of a traditional system known as a ‘heat pump.’ It functions both as an air heater and cooler. It allows you to use your furnace to cool and heat your room throughout the year without using your furnace.
The heat pump operates like a traditional air conditioner during the summer months to cool the home. The heat pump reverses the process during colder months to extract heat from the outside air and blowing it inside the house to provide warmth.
Heat pumps typically suck hot air from outside the house air and pass it over the coils of the inside AC unit, dispersing heated air throughout the house. The heat pump is able to extract heat from the air even during winter. Your furnace will turn on automatically when it gets too cold for the heat pump to operate to provide the required temperature in your home.
Heat pumps are quite popular in areas with milder climates where the temperature does not stay below the freezing point for extended durations. Thanks to advancements in technology, heat pumps are nowadays effective even in colder climates.
Such units extract heat from the ground rather than remove it from the air as the traditional heat pump does. A geothermal heat pump initially costs more than an air sourced system. Installing this system required specialized experience and skills. But the energy savings in the long-term can be significant. Heat pumps are among the most energy-efficient cooling and heating systems as they move heat rather than creating it.
Different Types of Heat Pumps
The universal common type of heat pump installed in homes are air sourced, followed by geothermal.
Air-Sourced Central Heat Pumps
It is a common king type of heat pump installed in many homes pan North America. It relies on ductwork to circulate both cold and hot air in a house. It contains two key units, just like a split system central air conditioner. The indoor unit is called the evaporator coil and outside unit, the condenser. The refrigerant circulates between these two units. When it absorbs heat and releases it outside, it functions just like a central AC. As it collects heat from the outside and releases it inside the house, it works in reverse order.
Due to technological advancements, one can now use air-source heat pumps in colder climates. They also have an improved dehumidifier, implying that your home will be more comfortable during excessively humid summer days.
Ductless Split Heat Pumps
Homes that lack adequate ductwork are ideal for installing the split ductless heat pump (mini split). It consists of two principal units. The outdoor unit contains a fan, a compressor, and a condenser coil. The indoor unit (the head) includes a fan and an evaporator coil. In the same way as a split ductless air conditioner, a split ductless system can have multiple heads.
One can install the indoor unit on the ceiling, floor, or on the wall. Remote controls are used to manage and set different temperatures of each indoor unit. A tubing which connects the indoor and outdoor units circulate the refrigerant.
The energy savings, when compared to ducted systems, are among the key advantages of split ductless systems. The costs associated with installing a split-ductless heat pump is the main disadvantages. Installing multiple indoor units can get too expensive.
Aesthetically, the latest models look better compared to the older versions. You need to be very careful while selecting such a unit to ensure that its indoor unit gels with the décor of your indoor walls, complimenting it in the process.