Experienced HVAC contractors in Salt Lake City, or anywhere else in America for that matter, will agree that buying an air conditioner is not as straightforward as many people think. Homeowners usually pay attention to cost, but equipment size, and energy efficiency, and maintenance must also be thoroughly considered.
There are several air conditioning systems on the market. While all of them provide a cool space, not a single one is perfect in every situation. Today, let us explore the differences among the most popular air conditioners to determine which kind makes the most sense in your house.
Room Air Conditioner
Also known as a window air conditioner, this individual unit is suitable for cooling one room. Its small size makes it the most affordable AC you can buy, but it uses more energy per square foot than central air conditioning equipment.
The best thing about a room air conditioner it is does not require a new hole in the wall, for it can fit into a double-hung window. Its installation involves less labor, and it can be easily removed and relocated to another part of a house if desired.
Central Air Conditioner
A central air conditioning system is designed to produce chilled air for the entire house. This product certainly costs more than an individual AC. However, it cools a larger space more efficiently, so it can save you more energy if you want to enjoy whole-home comfort.
Ductwork is a non-negotiable requirement of a central AC. Ducts distribute its output, giving every room the air conditioning it needs on demand. If your house does not have ductwork yet, upgrading to a central air conditioner can be a costly proposition.
An underappreciated advantage of central ACs is quiet operation. Without the presence of a cooling unit itself in every space, nobody has to live with the noise of a fan to get cold air.
Ductless Mini-split Air Conditioner
A ductless AC is a miniature version of a central air conditioning equipment without ducts, as its name suggests. The indoor component of the AC is mounted on a wall to blow the cold air within the room.
Although it does not use any ductwork, a mini-split air conditioner can be cool the entire house. Several indoor components can be connected to one condenser, an outdoor AC unit, to provide air conditioning in multiple rooms.
The most significant advantage of ductless mini-split air conditioners is energy efficiency. Its unique design inherently prevents energy loss that usually happens when the chilled air travels through a series of ducts.
Buying multiple ductless mini-split ACs, however, can be expensive since more than one unit is necessary to cool several portions of a house. If you have existing ductwork already, switching to ductless air conditioning equipment can cost you more money.
Most air conditioners available today can last at least 10 years, probably longer with proper upkeep. Choosing a wrong unit, though, might require premature replacement. Take your time to compare ACs to find a product that provides consistent comfort without eating up too much of your budget and harming the environment.