AC Replacement Options: Different Types of Air Conditioners for Your Home
Are you on the fence on what type of AC replacement to get for your home? There are four basic types of air conditioners to choose from. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to weigh them all to come up with the right choice for your home. The following lists not only the pros and cons, but also the projected life span of each one as well as some tips on how to optimize its use.
- Central – A central air conditioner cools a building through a network of ducts and registers. It provides the most even temperature throughout the house. It is quiet, convenient to operate, and definitely more efficient in cooling your home than window units. It’s quite expensive, but if your home already has existing ductwork, then it could actually turn out to be a cost-effective choice. A typical central A/C system lasts about 15 to 20 years. To ensure that it works at maximum productivity with minimum waste, properly seal the ductwork, taking care to prevent sags and excessive bends.
- Room – Either a window unit or a portable one, a room air conditioner is the most popular option mostly for its cost. It’s the cheapest option for cooling a room. It is so much less expensive to purchase and install as well as use than a central system. It typically lasts from 10 to 15 years. Of course, its service is limited to the room it is in and improper installation can cause it to work inefficiently, failing to properly cool a room and hiking up your costs at the same time. To make it achieve maximum productivity, prevent air leakage by installing rigid form panels between the unity and the window frame, and then secure with duct tape.
- Ductless Mini-split – This is sometimes referred to as a wall unit. It does zone cooling and heating, but sans the ductwork. If you don’t want to bother with a ducted system, this makes an affordable alternative. It is easy to install and is deemed more efficient than a central system, which is prone to energy loss. It is, however, the most expensive option. If you already have ductwork and you choose this, you’ll end up paying 30 percent more than you would have just adding an air conditioner unit to the existing central system. It lasts about 12 to 15 years. To prevent overheating, have the compressor outside regularly cleaned.
- Evaporative Cooler – Some people refer to this as a swamp cooler. It cools outdoor air using evaporated water and then circulates it in the interior of a home. It is more expensive than a window unit, but less pricey than a central system. This option is the most cost-effective for dry climates. It is also preferable for the added moisture in the air, which increases comfort. While it’s more cost- and energy-efficient than a central air conditioning system, it is really only suitable for low humidity areas. To make it last the 15 to 20 years of its projected life span, you need to frequently conduct maintenance work.
Knowing the above details will surely help you determine which one to replace your current system with.