Now that the summer weather has arrived, most homeowners are turning on their air conditioning systems to escape the outdoor heat. If you have an older system, though, you might be thinking that you’re not as comfortable as you’d like to be. As air conditioning systems age, they can become less efficient and less effective, so you end up paying more to cool your home while experiencing diminished comfort. And, if you have to make frequent repairs to your system, the costs may seem to outweigh the benefits.
If your older system is showing more frequent symptoms of needing to be replaced, you may find yourself wondering what the best system might be for your home. It can certainly be confusing – there are many different types of air conditioning systems available today, as well as different ratings and efficiencies. In this article, we’ll focus on the three main types of AC.
Three Types of Air Conditioning Systems
When you’re considering what type of air conditioning system might be best for your home, you’ll find that there is a lot of information out there about AC systems. And that can get super-confusing! Below, we’ve broken down the three main types of air conditioning systems to give you some quick information about how they work and their benefits.
Central Air Conditioning
If you’ve had a central air conditioning system, or if your home has ductwork, central air is likely a good choice for you. Central AC systems provide cooling throughout your entire home via your system of ductwork and vary in size and configuration based on your home’s unique needs.
With a central air conditioner, there is an outdoor unit that connects to an indoor air handler, usually a blower located in the furnace. The outdoor unit sends chilled air into the home, which is then distributed through your duct system by the air handler.
Having properly sized central air conditioning is crucial because if the system is too small or too large, it won’t perform as well and may even not last as long as it should. That’s why it’s very important to choose an HVAC contractor who understands building science and knows how to accurately size the system for your home.
Heat Pump Systems
Heat pump systems are one of the most highly efficient means of cooling your home available. That’s because they absorb the heat from the indoor air and release it into the outdoor air or into the ground. Much like traditional central air conditioning, the system is comprised of an indoor and outdoor unit and uses your home’s ductwork to move the cooled air throughout your home.
Heat pumps are available in two different configurations – air source and ground source (or geothermal). Air source heat pumps transfer heat between indoor and outdoor air, whereas ground source heat pumps move the heat between the indoor air and the ground outside.
With a heat pump system, however, there is the added bonus of being able to heat your home during the cooler months as well. That’s because you can reverse the process, and the heat pump will absorb the heat from the outdoor air (even in cold temperatures) or ground and pump it into your house.
Ductless Cooling Systems
Ductless systems generally rely on heat pump technology, which makes them a highly efficient way to cool your home. So, you may be wondering, why get a ductless system when you can just get a heat pump? There are many benefits to ductless that make it a great choice for any home.
First of all, ductless systems do not require ductwork to operate. This is especially beneficial for homes where adding ductwork is either impossible or impractical. They can be used to cool your entire home, or in a space in your home that may not have access to ductwork, such as an addition or converted space. And, they’re far more efficient than other types of room air conditioning, so you’ll likely save on your utility bills.
Like heat pumps, many ductless systems are able to provide heat during cooler weather as well, providing you with a flexible solution for year-round comfort for your home.
How do I know what type of system is best for my home?
At T.F. O’Brien, we believe that knowledge is important, which is why we strive to provide our customers with all the information they need to make the best decision. We’re always happy to work with you and help you choose the best and most efficient system for your home, lifestyle, and budget. If you’d like to learn more about any of these systems, feel free to contact us at 516.488.1800. We’ll be happy to make an appointment with you and help you find the perfect air conditioning system for your home.