Types of Home Air Conditioners and How to Choose One

If you’re a homeowner in need of installing an air conditioning system, it is essential to select one that meets your requirements. There are various types of home AC units to consider such as ductless mini-splits, portable air conditioners and split-system air conditioners.

Each type of AC has its advantages and drawbacks, but all are capable of cooling a home effectively. When making the best choice for cooling your house, take into account the size of your room as well as how much heat gain or loss occurs during the day.

Ductless Mini-Splits

Ductless mini-split systems are becoming more and more popular due to their many advantages over traditional HVAC equipment. Not only are they cost-effective, but they offer greater temperature control than central air conditioning – a plus for those wanting to reduce energy usage and save money on utility bills.

When shopping for a ductless mini-split system, there are plenty of brands to choose from. If you’re unsure which one to purchase, consult with an HVAC contractor who specializes in these systems.

The primary advantage of ductless systems is that they do not require a network of ducts. Ducts can trap dust, pollen and other particles which may not be beneficial for your home’s air quality – especially those who suffer from asthma or allergies. This makes them especially suitable for those with respiratory conditions such as COPD.

Ducless systems also save on maintenance expenses, since you won’t need to hire a professional cleaner to clean the ductwork. Furthermore, many ductless systems use reusable filters that can be cleaned instead of replaced.

Another advantage is their quiet operation; ductless mini-splits use compressor units outside your house and won’t disturb you much when running.

Ductless units can cool spaces of up to 3,000 square feet depending on how well the insulation and ceiling are insulated, as well as the number of windows present.

For a larger capacity system, look for a ductless model with an SEER rating of at least 30. The higher the SEER number, the more energy-efficient your heating/cooling system will be.

Some ductless units feature a “turbo” mode that increases output to quickly cool a space. This is especially beneficial for larger rooms which may take some time to warm up or cool down.

Install a programmable timer to automatically turn your mini-split on when you arrive home or leave for work. It can also be set to turn off after a certain amount of time has elapsed, helping save money on energy bills.

Ductless mini-splits are an ideal choice for homeowners searching for a high-performance, energy-efficient air conditioner that’s easy to install and maintain. They can be used in multiple locations and have been proven to reduce energy costs by up to 30% compared to traditional systems.

Home Air Conditioners

Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners are an ideal cooling solution that’s both convenient and simple to install. Furthermore, they’re ideal for homeowners with limited floor space who want their home kept comfortably without taking up too much room.

When selecting a window air conditioner for your home, the ideal approach is to assess both its cooling needs and budget. Start by measuring the square footage of the room that needs cooling, then calculate how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) it must generate.

For instance, a hundred and fifty square foot room requires approximately 5,000 BTUs to maintain an appropriate temperature. You can calculate this number using one of two formulas:

Once you know how many BTUs are needed, select a unit that meets both your requirements and budget. If unsure which size window air conditioner will suit best in your home, consult an HVAC expert for assistance.

Window ACs come in a range of sizes and brands to fit any home or space. Choose small models for compact spaces or high-capacity models for larger rooms that need more heating or cooling power.

Window ACs typically come with a mounting kit, which includes all necessary hardware for installation. This includes a bracket that connects to the exterior wall, a window kit that lets you mount it in your window, and an adhesive sleeve that holds the unit to its frame securely.

These kits also include side curtains to secure any extra space on either side of the AC. This is especially crucial when installing window air conditioners on higher floors in a house; otherwise, they could fall out and injure someone below.

Window air conditioners consist of several main parts, such as the compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil, fan, blower and filter. Each of these elements works together to efficiently cool down the room by drawing heat away from it.

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners are convenient and economical to move around your home, perfect for rooms that don’t fit window units or homes with neighborhood restrictions. Furthermore, they’re more cost-effective than window or central air conditioning units and can provide adequate cooling for single rooms or smaller apartments.

Portable ACs use a compressor, refrigerant and cooling coils to remove heat from rooms. The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas, changing it from liquid to something much cooler than air. Once cool, this cooled refrigerant absorbs all of the room’s energy before exhausting it outside through an exhaust hose.

Some portable units, like the LG LP1419IVSM from Wirecutter, boast smart technology which allows the unit to adjust its speed depending on room temperature. As a result, it cools more efficiently and saves energy costs.

Another popular type of portable air conditioner is the single-hose unit, which draws air in from inside and expels it through an exterior vent. This model tends to be cheaper and more accessible than full self-evaporative models.

The best portable air conditioners can cool your space faster and more effectively than older units, thanks to their dual hose design that brings in fresh air from outside while expelling hot air. Furthermore, these powerful dehumidifiers often remove up to 101 pints of moisture per 24 hours.

Before purchasing a portable air conditioner, take into account its size and whether it can adequately cool your room. If the unit is too small for your space, it won’t be able to effectively cool it; on the other hand, an oversized unit will run longer and more frequently, potentially leading to premature wear out of the appliance and higher energy costs.

You should also look into a unit’s BTU rating, which measures how well it cools a room. Historically, this was calculated using criteria set forth by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). However, in 2017, the Department of Energy introduced Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity (SACC), an indicator more closely aligned to real world usage patterns.

Split-System Air Conditioners

Finding the ideal air conditioning system for your home can make a world of difference in comfort levels. While there are various types of air conditioners to choose from, split-system units are among the most common and versatile choices as they don’t require ductwork installation – meaning they’re usually more affordable than other choices as well.

Split-system air conditioners consist of two parts: an indoor wall-mounted unit that contains the evaporator, and an outdoor stand-alone compressor/condenser unit. The evaporator helps distribute cool air inside the room while the compressor dissipates hot air from outdoors.

Electric air conditioners are highly efficient and can save you a considerable amount of money on power bills in the long run. Be sure to search for models with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating; this energy rating measures how much power is used when cooling your home.

These types of ACs often feature a remote control, enabling you to turn on or off the system from anywhere in your home. If unsure which air conditioner is ideal for your household, contact an expert who can assist in making an informed decision.

Another essential factor to consider when purchasing your air conditioning system is how it will be utilized. You need to decide which rooms it will heat or cool, then determine the size of system necessary for that task.

If your home has multiple rooms, a large enough air conditioner is necessary to cool them all. To determine the right size, consult an expert who can assess your requirements and suggest the most suitable system for you.

Some split-system air conditioners feature variable speed compressors, which allows them to run at various speeds. This can save money in the long run as it reduces wear and tear on the compressor’s parts.

Air conditioning units with soundproofing can be quieter than standard units. They tend to be installed in larger spaces like living rooms and shared living spaces.


  1. Do measure the size of the room or area you want to cool before purchasing an air conditioner. This will help you choose the right size and type of unit for your needs.
  2. Do consider the energy efficiency of the unit. Look for units with high Energy Star ratings to save money on your energy bill.
  3. Do choose a reputable brand and read customer reviews to ensure you are getting a reliable unit.
  4. Do consider the noise level of the unit. Look for units with low decibel ratings for a quieter cooling experience.
  5. Do properly maintain your air conditioner by cleaning or replacing the filters and having it serviced regularly by a professional.


  1. Don’t assume that the most expensive unit is always the best. Consider your budget and choose a unit that meets your needs and is within your price range.
  2. Don’t buy an air conditioner that is too small for your room or area. This will cause it to work harder and may not cool the space adequately.
  3. Don’t forget to properly install the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions or have it installed by a professional.
  4. Don’t place the air conditioner in a location where it will be exposed to direct sunlight or other heat sources.
  5. Don’t neglect regular maintenance, as this can lead to poor performance and higher energy bills.


Q: What are the different types of home air conditioners?

A: The main types of home air conditioners include window units, portable air conditioners, split-system air conditioners, and central air conditioning systems.

Q: What is a window unit air conditioner?

A: A window unit air conditioner is a self-contained air conditioning unit that is designed to be installed in a window. It is typically used to cool a single room or small area.

Q: What is a portable air conditioner?

A: A portable air conditioner is a standalone unit that can be moved from room to room. It is typically on wheels and comes with a flexible hose that can be vented through a window.

Q: What is a split-system air conditioner?

A: A split-system air conditioner is a type of air conditioner that consists of two units: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit is typically installed on a wall or ceiling and is connected to the outdoor unit by refrigerant lines.

Q: What is a central air conditioning system?

A: A central air conditioning system is a type of air conditioning system that uses ducts to distribute cooled air throughout a home. It typically consists of a compressor unit that is located outside and an indoor unit that is typically located in the attic or basement.

Q: How do I choose the right air conditioner for my home?

A: When choosing an air conditioner, consider the size of your home, your budget, and your cooling needs. You should also consider the energy efficiency of the unit and the noise level it produces. It may be helpful to consult with a professional to determine the best option for your home.

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