Central air conditioning systems are the most common type of air conditioner available on the market, but their large size, use of ductwork, and general cost can make them prohibitive for homeowners under a tight budget or individuals who live in apartments or homes that are not well-suited for the installation of a centralized unit. Understanding what some of the most common alternatives to central air conditioners are can help you choose the one that is the best fit for your home's climate control needs.
Portable Air Conditioners
Portable air conditioners are floor units that can be plugged into a general wall socket and will provide a small amount of cooling to the room that they are in. The main advantage of portable air conditioners is the fact that you can move them around yourself based on where you are spending the most amount of time within your home, allowing you to save money by not cooling areas of your home where no one is in. However, portable air conditioners are relatively weak when compared to other types of units and still require a vent to the outside of your home to be established, usually by running a hose out of the window or another opening.
Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners, like their name would suggest, are designed to be installed within a window of your apartment or home. This method of installation helps save you floor space, and it also allows a direct line to the exterior of your home, which can allow for a more powerful cooling effect in the room due to improved venting and air intake. However, window air conditioners will permanently prevent you from opening the window that they are installed within and can reduce the amount of insulation that a window provides to your home in the winter months.
Mini-Split Air Conditioners
Also referred to as ductless air conditioners, these air conditioners are made up of a series of small units that are installed in individual rooms, like the above two units. However, they are mounted directly on the wall and have a small vent to the exterior of your home. They can be zoned as an entire system, which means that they prioritize certain rooms of your house automatically, to ensure the highest possible comfort level with the lowest amount of energy usage. What is unique about mini-split air conditioners is that many models also come with heating capabilities, which makes them a general-purpose climate control appliance.
For more options and alternatives, contact a professional air conditioning company, such as Allied Mechanical & Electrical, Inc.