We always wish that summer would never end. And for some parts of the U.S. it often seems that way due to the scorching temperatures that tend to last well into the Fall season. When it’s miserably hot outdoors, you want to be able to go inside your home and cool off. But if you don’t have an adequate cooling system in your home, you’ll likely end up enduring the heat both indoors and outdoors.
A good quality air conditioner can help you keep your home or apartment cool during the summer. There are several different types of air conditioners available, and each type has its own set of features designed to benefit all types of users.
If you need a way to escape the summer heat, and fans are no longer working for you, it is time to consider buying a new air conditioner. Keep reading to find out what type of air conditioners are available to purchase, which are best for residential use, and which are the most energy efficient.
The 6 Types Of Air Conditioners
There are three main types of air conditioners which are listed below, as well as additional air conditioning systems that should be included in the list. The type of air conditioner that you choose will depend on a number of factors. You will need to determine your budget, what size space you need to keep cool, and the features that are included.
We will start with the types of air conditioners that most people are familiar with, window A/C’s, portable units and split ductless air conditioners.
Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners are perhaps the most common type there is. They range in both size and capacity, as well as cost. These compact units can cool only one room at a time or one open space.
A window unit is able to cool down a room by forcing the warm out outside while blowing cold air inside. Because of this, they must be placed in a window so that the hot air will be directed out of the house.
These units are perfect for small spaces and rooms because they can provide a large amount of cool air in a small area. This type of air conditioner is not recommended for use to cool the inside of a larger home. They are installed in an open window with the exhaust facing outward and the cool air going into the room. If you have a window that is shaded, it will provide you with even cooler air.
A small window air conditioner will have a capacity between 5,000 and 6,500 BTU. It can comfortably cool down at least 100 to 300 square feet of space. The price range for a small window air conditioner is between $150 and $250.
A medium-size window air conditioner has a capacity range between 7,000 and 8,200 BTU. They are capable of cooling down 250 to 400 square feet of space. Their size and weight can sometimes cause these larger air conditioners to be more difficult to install. A medium-size window air conditioner costs on average between $200 and $400.
A large air conditioner has a capacity range that is between 9,800 and 12,500 BTU. It is capable of cooling a space that is between 350 and 650 square feet. These units are ideal for cooling a larger room or space. However, their weight and bulky size can make them the most awkward to install on your own. A large window air conditioner will cost on average between $350 and $600.
Portable Air Conditioners
A portable air conditioner is designed to cool down a single room or space. They are ideal for homes that don’t have the right type of windows for a window unit. A portable unit can be moved from one room to another to provide just the right amount of cool air to any space. Their capacity ranges from 9,000 up to 15,500 BTU.
While the average BTU capacity appears to be significantly more for a portable unit than a window unit, you shouldn’t compare the two types of air conditioners based on their BTU alone. Other factors do go into an air conditioner’s performance and can make a big difference in how well they cool down a room.
According to Consumer Reports, most portable air conditioners are not as good at keeping a room nice and cool as their manufacturer’s say they are. They can also be very expensive, and a good majority of these units will use up even more energy than windows units of the same size.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest selling factors for portable air conditioners is that many people are convinced that they use less energy because of their smaller, portable size. But that’s simply not the case. And with some of the larger models weighing between 50 to 80 lbs., these portable units are not very portable after all.
But, there are a few good brands and models of portable air conditioners that work as advertised. They are considered to be innovative because they pull in the air from the room, cool it, and then direct it back out into the room.
The unit then vents warm air outside by using an exhaust hose. They can be very easy to install, especially when compared to a window air conditioner. Portable air conditioners range in price between $300 and $700.
Split Ductless Air Conditioners
A split ductless air conditioner offers a space-saving way to add cool air to more than one room without the need to install ductwork. This option is much more affordable and easier to do-it-yourself than the alternative which is installing a central heating and air system. However, it is recommended that you hire a professional to install this type of system if you don’t have prior experience doing so.
Split ductless air conditioners are more expensive than the other A/C units mentioned so far. However, it is a more affordable option than having a central heating and air system installed. If you are trying to cool down more than one room but don’t have the budget to install a new system, split ductless air conditioners are the way to go. They range in price at $1,000 and up.
Central Air Conditioning
A brand new central air conditioning system would be your best option if you are hoping to cool down your entire home. This is the most common form of cooling system as it can evenly distribute the cool air throughout a home no matter the size.
A central air conditioner system circulates the cool air through a series of supply and return ducts that are installed in the walls of the home.
Installing a central air conditioning system takes a lot of knowledge and skill. Everything must be placed and sized correctly to ensure that the system will work as it should. Installing a system like this that is the wrong size will cause your energy bill to go up dramatically.
Hybrid Air Conditioners
A hybrid air conditioner features a unique heat pump system that alternates between using electricity to power it and burning fossil fuels. The system chooses between the two available energy sources to save money and lower your energy costs.
Geothermal Heating & Cooling
Geothermal energy is efficient, has a long lifespan and sustainable. Because the temperature below ground stays at a consistent 55 degrees regardless of how hot or cold it is above ground, we can use geothermal technology to extract the heat from below ground to cool our homes.
We can use a geothermal coil that is installed deep within the ground and may be used to heat or cool the home as needed.
What To Consider Before Buying A New Air Conditioner
There are several things that you should think about before you decide to buy a brand new air conditioner. Some of these units can be very expensive, and you don’t want to spend too much money on a system that you will regret, or one that doesn’t suit your needs. Here are a few things to think about before you buy.
Check Out The Insulating Material
Air conditioners that are Energy Star approved now have much more insulation in them than past models. They will also feature better instructions in the manual that will help guarantee you have a good and secure seal.
What Is The Noise Rating?
Air conditioners aren’t as noisy as they once were. Even those that are rated the loudest aren’t much louder than a quiet fan running. Older models may have made a lot of noise, but if you have a brand new window air conditioner that rumbles loud enough to wake you from a deep sleep, there could be something wrong with it.
Think About The Window Location
A window air conditioner usually works best when it is blowing air in one direction. And that is an issue if it is installed in a window that is not centered on the wall. To cool down a room comfortably, you will want to direct air to the center of the room. So be sure to purchase an air conditioner with adjustable vents and move them accordingly to send the air to the center of the room.
Determine The Size Unit You Need For Your Space
Before you think about the price of the unit or the features that you want, you will need to consider the size of the air conditioner you are going to buy. You will also need to consider the size of the space you want the unit to cool.
To calculate the square footage of a room, measure the length and the width, then multiply those numbers. The answer will be your square footage. But you still shouldn’t depend on the BTU capacity all on its own. There are some things that you can do to your space to make your new air conditioner more energy efficient.
Remember that everything from how tall your ceiling is to the size of your windows and doors can have an effect on how cool a room truly gets. Keep these facts in mind when shopping around.
The Best Air Conditioners For You To Consider
One way to ensure that you find the best air conditioner for your home is to take the time to read up on reviews of the products you have in mind. Here are some of the best air conditioners currently available for you to consider.
- Energy Star rated; Energy Saver mode; 24-hour timer; LED filter alert
- Auto function; Sleep mode; Dry mode; Three (3) separate fan speeds
- 4-way air directional louvers; Remote control included; Cooling capacity: 12,000 BTUs
This Koldfront Window Air Conditioner is a top-rated product and powerful enough to keep a large room cool and comfortable during the summer. This Energy Star rated unit features Saver mode, a 24-hour timer, and an LED filter alert.
The 4-way directional louvers help to cool the entire area of the room and circulate the air. A remote control is included with this air conditioner. The temperature range is between 62 and 86 degrees F.
The recommended room size for the Koldfront 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner is recommended for use in rooms that are around 550 square feet. It is currently available on Amazon for $339.
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A ductless air conditioning system is perhaps the best way to cool down your entire home or several rooms in your home. It is much less expensive than installing a central air system and more efficient than a single window air conditioner
The Della Mini Split AC Ductless Wall Mounted Air Conditioner includes everything you need to add cool air and warm heat to several rooms in your home, without installing a ductwork system. This full set includes an indoor air handler, heat pump section, remote control and a powerful energy saving unit with sleeping mode feature.
This Della Split AC Ductless Air Conditioner is currently available to purchase on Amazon for $649.97.
- YOUR COMFORT CHOICE: With 10, 000 BTU fast cooling capacity, this unit cools an area up to 300 sq. ft. that is perfect...
- MULTI-FUNCTION APPLIANCE: Air conditioner, 2-speed fan and dehumidifier, 3-in-1 appliance. The built-in dehumidifier...
- PORTABLE TO MOVE: Non-permanent installation. Equipped with all-direction stainless castors and a handle on the top,...
The JHS 10,000 BTU Powerful Portable Air Conditioner has a lot to offer in a compact package. This unit includes a remote control and doubles as a dehumidifier. The PAC features a timer, sleep mode, and two different fan speeds.
This amazing cooling machine is fully equipped with an upgraded compressor. It is capable of cooling a space that is up to 220 square feet and is ideal for home or office use.
The portable design of this air conditioner makes it easy to move it from one room to another any time you need to cool down your living room, kitchen or bedroom.
The JHS unit is easy to install and features three modes so that you can use it as an air conditioner, a fan or a dehumidifier. JHS 10,000 BTU Powerful Portable Air Conditioner is currently available on Amazon for $289.99.
- POWERFUL - 12,000 BTUs of cooling power that will cool rooms up to 550 sq. ft. can be installed as a window air...
- ULTRA QUIET OPERATION - Window ac designed to cut operation noise to a minimum
- CONTINUOUS AUTO AIR SWEEP LOUVERS - Automatically oscillate louvers left and right during cooling
This Energy Star approved window air conditioner is a top-rated unit on Amazon and has a capacity of 12,000 BTU.
The Friedrich Chill Series is a powerful cooling machine that can cool down a 550 square foot room in no time. It features ultra-quiet operation and a continuous auto air sweep louver that oscillate the air from left to right as the unit cools the area.
The power cord for this window air conditioner can run either the left or right side of the unit for convenience.
The top-rated Friedrich Chill Series CP12G10B Window Air Conditioner is available to purchase on Amazon for $512.49.
Remember These Factors When Buying A New Air Conditioner
When it comes to staying cool, there are several different types of air conditioners out there that can help you out. Finding the very best unit out of all the rest can sometimes be a challenge. Fortunately, once you learn some important details about how an air conditioner works and what type works best in large or smaller spaces, you should be able to choose the best type of air conditioner for your home.