As insane temperatures continue to wreak havoc across the country this summer, the need for a reliable and efficient air conditioner has never been greater. Temperatures in the 90s, with humidity approaching 100%, make for a miserable time here in Michigan, especially if you don’t have the right type of air conditioner for your home.
So, how do you even start shopping for a new A/C unit? What factors do you need to consider to make the best choice possible? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a cheat-sheet to help you find the perfect A/C unit for your home. Let’s start with what to look for.
What To Look For When Buying An Air Conditioner
Consider both the size of the unit itself and the size of the area it’s rated to cool. The measurement used to rate how big of an area the unit can cool is measured in British thermal units (Btu).
To figure out the right sized A/C unit for you, multiply the length of your space by the width and then multiply that number by 25 Btu. This number can be affected by things like how shady or sunny a room gets and how many people share that space.
Finding an energy efficient air conditioner model not only helps the environment, but it also helps your bank account. Higher energy efficiency means less wasted energy and dollars.
Check for the Energy Star certification badge on the A/C unit and make sure to have it professionally installed. Installation by a professional HVAC technician ensures your unit is properly sealed and set up to start working as efficiently as possible.
Ease of Maintenance
How easy an air conditioner is to install and maintain is more important than you might think. Easy maintenance and installation is a huge deal for air conditioner units. This helps keep the number of repairs to a minimum, saving you money and keeping your A/C humming happily along.
Pay attention to where the air filter is and how easy it is to change out. Not only will this help to keep your A/C unit in perfect working order, but it’ll allow you to get the most out of your unit too.
4 Most Common Types of Air Conditioners
Central Air Conditioner
One of the most common types of air conditioners, especially in mid to large-sized houses, are central air conditioners. Connected throughout the house by an elaborate duct system, these beefy units are designed to cool and dehumidify an entire house at once.
- Evenly and easily cools all the rooms in a home, at the same time.
- Duct systems are hidden away, saving you space and eliminating potential eyesores.
- Central air conditioning is quiet because the main unit is installed outside.
- Easy to use because everything is controlled through a central thermostat.
Perks of Central Air Conditioners
- Costs more to install, initially, because of the ductwork involved.
- Not easy to maintain on your own and requires licensed technicians to address most issues.
- Consumes more energy than other air conditioners, meaning energy bills will be higher than with smaller air conditioners.
Downsides of Central Air Conditioners
Area Covered: 20,000 – 50,000 Btu
Another common type of air conditioner is the ductless mini-split. These convenient units are perfect for smaller spaces, like apartments, condos, single rooms, and small houses. Instead of going through the expensive hassle of installing sprawling ducts throughout the home, some people save money by opting for this ductless option. Each wall-mounted unit cools and dehumidifies one room, so cooling an entire home requires one to be installed in each room.
- Lower energy consumption and lower energy bills.
- Easy and inexpensive to install.
- Save space in your home without the need of ducts.
- Gives you total control of the climate in each individual room with a ductless mini-split installed in it.
Perks of Ductless Mini-Splits
- Requires multiple units to cool down an entire house.
- Wall-mounted units are visible inside and some people consider them to be eyesores.
- Louder than central air conditioners because the unit is installed inside.
Downsides of Ductless Mini-Splits
Area Covered: 6,000 – 24,000 Btu per wall unit
Single-Room Air Conditioner
Along the same lines as ductless mini-splits, single-room air conditioners are the room-by-room answer to cooling and dehumidifying a home. These compact A/C units might be the perfect type of air conditioner for you, if you’re looking for something that’s easy to use and quick to set up. Single-room air conditioners come in many different forms, including window units, floor-mounted units, and portable units.
- Perfect for spot-cooling a room.
- Super easy set-up doesn’t require a licensed technician.
- Easily move the unit to any room in your house.
- Multiple styles to choose from.
- Less expensive to run than central air conditioners.
Perks of Single-Room Air Conditioners
- Can be noisy.
- Takes up space in the room and isn’t easy to hide.
- Takes a while to cool down larger rooms.
- Needs to be placed next to a window or in a window to properly hook up the hoses for air exchange.
Downsides of Single-Room Air Conditioners
Area Covered: 5,000 – 24,000 Btu
Hybrid Air Conditioner
If you’re looking for extreme efficiency, then this type of air conditioner might be the one for you. Hybrid air conditioners work by combining a fuel-operated furnace with an electric heat pump to regulate the temperature in your house. This specialized system can use multiple different types of fuel, including gas, oil, and natural gas. With smart technology, hybrid air conditioners switch between the different fuels based on availability and efficiency, ensuring your HVAC system operates at peak efficiency all year-round.
- Super energy efficient.
- Saves you between 20 – 50% in energy costs every season.
- Able to evenly cool an entire home.
- Smart technology makes it easy to use.
Perks of Hybrid Air Conditioners
- Expensive up-front cost of installation and set-up.
- Requires a licensed technician for pretty much any maintenance.
Downsides of Hybrid Air Conditioners
Area Covered: 20,000 – 50,000 Btu
Cost: 💲💲💲💲 (up-front), 💲💲 (for everything after)
Let the Professionals Help Find the Right Type of Air Conditioner for You
If you want to take the guesswork out of choosing the right type of air conditioner for you and your home, then it’s time to call in the pros. Here at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re experts in all things HVAC. Whether it’s maintenance, repair, or new installations, One Hour has you covered.
For the best air conditioner installation and maintenance services, you can’t go wrong with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. Give us a call at 800-576-0171 or request your appointment online. For more HVAC tips and tricks, check out our blog. You can also keep up with the latest and greatest deals and news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.