What are the most common types of AC systems available?
Staying cool in the Tampa Bay area can be a challenge, which is why it pays to know about the different types of air conditioning systems we have on offer. After all, every home is different and so is its cooling needs. Here’s a brief rundown of the different AC systems you can choose for your home.
Central AC Systems
Central AC units are, by far, the most common type of air conditioning in modern homes. It’s also the most efficient at cooling large homes. Central AC systems consist of an outdoor unit and a centrally-located air handler that distributes cool air throughout the home via a network of HVAC ducts. The duct system also allows warm air to re-enter the central AC unit, where it’s cooled and re-circulated back into the home.
Installing a central AC system can be a costly and sometimes time-consuming process, which is why we recommend a professional installation. However, these units quickly pay for themselves, providing you with years of efficient and effective cooling.
Mini Split Systems
Also known as ductless AC systems, mini split systems do away with traditional HVAC ducts. Instead, this type of AC system consists of up to four wall-mounted air handlers located throughout the home. Each air handler is connected to an outdoor unit, effectively providing the same function as a central AC unit.
Each air handler has its own thermostat, allowing you to create individual cooling zones for each part of your home. This means you can fine-tune cooling throughout your home for maximum comfort and efficiency.
Mini split systems are also a great choice for older homes where installing HVAC ducts is either costly or simply not feasible. However, these systems can be more affordable to purchase and install than central AC units.
A heat pump is similar to a central AC unit, except that a heat pump can also provide heating in moderate climates. Otherwise, both units operate the same way when it comes to cooling your home. Modern heat pumps are extremely energy efficient, especially during the fall and spring seasons when occasional heating is needed to keep your home comfortable.
Window AC Units
Think of a window air conditioner as an “all-in-one” unit designed to fit in your window. The bulk of the unit containing the compressor, blower and condenser coil hangs outside of the window, allowing the unit to vent heat to atmosphere. The rest of the unit, including the control panel and evaporator coil, is within easy reach indoors.
These units are popular for keeping single rooms and small spaces cool. However, they’re simply not built for cooling down large spaces. You shouldn’t expect to cool down an entire home with a single window AC unit and using multiple units to keep your home cool may simply result in higher utility bills.
Portable AC Units
Think “air conditioner on wheels.” Capable of cooling down small, single rooms, portable AC units are designed with mobility in mind. Most units come with casters for easier movement from room to room.
Nearly all portable AC systems use an exhaust hose to vent warm air out of the room, usually through a window or another open space.