What Types of Air Conditioners Are There?
There are generally four different types of air conditioning systems you can have installed in your home. Ductless splits are the most basic but also the most flexible in that you can install a single unit in up to four different rooms to work off the same external source.
If you need something a bit more powerful, though, you may want to opt for a split system. These types of air conditioners are made up of an outdoor unit and an indoor unit and they generally work well to cool a couple of rooms in a house. This type of air conditioning system can be especially appropriate if you have recently built an addition onto your existing house.
Packaged air conditioners can cool an entire house. They also have an outdoor component which feeds cooler air into a series of ducts. The cooled air then travels throughout your house, cooling all areas uniformly.
If you have an especially large space to keep cool, you will probably be best off with a larger central air conditioning unit. This operates much like a packaged system, but it’s more powerful and can effectively cool large buildings and meeting spaces.
How Do I Know What System is Right for Me?
To a certain extent, you should be able to get an idea about what type of air conditioner is right for you based on the size of the space you need to cool. However, professional HVAC technicians have years of experience working with air conditioners and are a good resource when you’re trying to make this type of determination. They can help you figure out both what type of system you’ll need and how powerful you need it to be.
When is it Time to Replace My Old Air Conditioning System?
If your air conditioning system doesn’t seem to working like it used to, it may be worth looking into a replacement. While you may be put off a bit by the costs of air conditioning replacement, there is actually a lot to be gained by transitioning to a newer model.
Of course, if your current system isn’t working properly and you’re going to have to pay to repair it anyway, it often makes financial sense just to get a new one. Rather than paying for extensive repairs on an older system, you’ll probably be better off replacing your older system with a newer, more energy efficient model. The monthly energy savings alone can make it worth the transition.
How Long Should My Air Conditioning System Last?
As long as you have it installed properly and take good care of it, any new air conditioning system should last for at least 10 years. Most of the newer models will last up to 15 years as long as regular cleaning and maintenance are performed properly.
What Can I Do to Keep My Air Conditioning System In Good Shape?
Just like anything else, an air conditioning system needs to be kept clean and otherwise well maintained. You can take care of some of this basic cleaning on your own, but to really extend the life of your equipment, it’s a good idea to hire a professional service to carry out annual maintenance checks. Maintenance service consists of a full inspection and thorough cleaning. In addition, technicians will carry out any necessary repairs and replace worn out parts to keep your air conditioning system functioning smoothly for years to come.
Are Ductless Split Air Conditioners Really Ductless?
Yes, the ductless split solution allows air conditioning to be installed in your home without any ducts and with only a small, three inch hole in the wall for the main conduit. Additionally, for added convenience and control of the aesthetics around your home, you can install the outdoor unit as much as 50 feet away from the house. While the split and mini-split system is ductless, regular cleaning is recommended for the outdoor unit and indoor units to maintain efficiency and avoid overuse.
How Much Does the Ductless Split System Cost?
A ductless split air conditioning system will cost between $1000 and $2000 for each ton of cooling. A single ton of cooling is 12,000 BTUs. When compared to central air installation, the cost ranges roughly 25%-30% more, however, keep in mind that you will not need to install the same ductwork in your home as you would for central air, and there are far less maintenance needs as there are no ducts to clean.
The reason for the extra cost is the specific sizing and installation requirements for each of the indoor units. Each unit must be carefully measured and installed to ensure minimal wasted air. If it short cycles, you will waste energy and have humidity and temperature problems in one or more rooms in your home.