Each home’s cooling needs are unique and factors such as size, age, insulation and windows are some of the many factors that can impact your cooling needs. Whether you are looking to cool your whole home or specific rooms—these are all considerations that need to be determined when replacing or installing an air conditioning system. It is critical to choose a system that’s best for your needs and your home’s needs. Installing a system that is too small or too big for your space will not deliver the optimal level of comfort and could lead to mechanical issues and expensive repairs.
First Things First: How Air Conditioning Works
Even though air conditioning systems come in many shapes and sizes, they all work by the same process: drawing heat and humidity out of your home and replacing it with cooled air using refrigerant. Three mechanical components work together to make that happen:
- a compressor
- a condenser coil and,
- an evaporator coil
That said, here’s a quick guide that will get you started in deciding which type of AC system is best for your home, needs, and budget.
Types of AC Systems: Understanding the Differences
Central Air Conditioning
“Central air” is the most popular kind of AC system. It can keep an entire house cool and comfortable and, since it’s nearly invisible and whisper-quiet, you’ll hardly know it’s there. Moreover, a central cooling system is energy-efficient and will add value to a home.
With a central AC system, one or more fans and a series of ducts carry air to and from rooms. The compressor and condenser coil are located in an outside unit and connect to an indoor unit that’s fitted with an evaporator coil. Temperature is controlled via a thermostat, usually mounted on a wall.
If you have a larger home with existing ductwork or that can accommodate new ductwork, central AC is a great way to go.
Ductless Mini Splits
A ductless mini split system is an ideal solution if you want to add cooling to “bonus” rooms, such as an office or sunroom, or to other spaces such as an attic or garage. It’s also a cost- and energy-efficient way to cool a smaller home.
Like central AC, mini splits require an outdoor condenser unit. But the evaporator is housed in separate wall-mounted units (also called air handlers). This allows for zoned room-to-room temperature control, so everyone in your household can adjust the temperature to their preference.
Moreover, ductless mini split systems can help you breathe easier, thanks to extremely efficient filtration that can drastically reduce dust, bacteria, pollens and other particulates in the air. Finally, they can be installed as a single zone unit or as a multi zone solution and are highly efficient to operate.
Overall, the flexibility, convenience and quality of a ductless mini split system makes it hard to beat.
High Velocity AC
Do you have an older or historic home without existing ductwork that has radiant heat and needs an AC system that won’t compromise your home’s architectural integrity? High velocity central AC just might be your solution.
With this type of system, the air moves from an outdoor compressor to a single hidden unit (air handler) that pushes the air at high velocity to multiple vents. The tubing is only 1/10 the size of a traditional system, making it easy to feed through walls and around obstacles like beams and joints.
Since a high velocity AC system requires no renovation, installation is simple and quick, and you won’t have to worry about disrupting the unique character details of your home. Say goodbye to those loud and cumbersome window AC units with the modern comfort and convenience of high velocity AC.
Let an Expert Help Recommend the Best AC System for your Home
Our factory-trained HVAC comfort advisors can help you select the best customized solution for your home and your budget, while making sure you understand the main benefits of each system. Sila has over 32 years of experience keeping homeowners perfectly comfortable through every season. Call us or make an appointment online. We’d be happy to answer your questions or schedule a complimentary consultation.