The weather in Austin can sometimes feel like perpetual summer, with hot and muggy weather for more than half of the year. When considering air conditioning for your home, it’s valuable to know the different air conditioner types that exist so you can make the best choice for our sweltering climate.
Air Conditioner Types
Perhaps the most common air conditioner type is central AC, which provides cooling throughout your home. These units consist of an evaporator unit, a condenser unit, and ducts or other distribution mechanisms that send the cold air throughout the home. Below [3: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/central-air-conditioning/buying-guide.htm]
The most common form of central air conditioning is a split system, involving both an indoors unit and an outdoors unit. In a split system, the cooling or evaporation coil unit is inside the home, usually inside a cabinet located in a central location within the home, while the condenser and compressor are outdoors, usually contained within a large boxy unit in the backyard.
These AC systems employ an evaporator coil within your inside AC unit with a refrigerant that cools down the coil. The unit pulls air from your home and blows it across the coil, allowing the refrigerant to absorb the heat, sending the cooled air back into your home. The heated refrigerant is sent outside where the heat is transferred through aluminum fins and then the refrigerant is condensed and returned indoors. In these units, the evaporator coil unit is connected to a series of metal ducts, typically hidden within the ceiling or underneath the floor. A blower sends cold air through the ducts to different rooms in the house, where it blows through floor, wall or ceiling registers. For homes with a central furnace, this air conditioner type is the most economical to install and operate since it shares the ducts with the heating unit.
Split systems are common for both residential and commercial buildings throughout the United States, especially in hotter climates.
Heat Pump Air Conditioners
For hot climates, heat pumps are also quite effective. Usually also found as split units, these types of air conditioners pull hot air from your house during the summer, and pull warm air from outside during the winter. Heat pumps, therefore, can be a great option for areas like San Antonio that don’t get cold for long periods of time or that don’t experience temperatures below freezing.
Split Ductless Systems
Another option for central air conditioning is a split ductless system. Like traditional central AC, these units also have an outdoor condenser unit. However, instead of a single indoors unit that pulls in warm air and exchanges it for cool air that blows from ducts, these systems have individual indoor blower units mounted near the ceiling. Tubing connects these units with the condenser and circulates refrigerant to cool the air.
For homes without central heating, these systems are often a better choice, since walls and ceilings don’t need to be damaged in order to install ductwork. Furthermore, ductless systems are ideal for areas like San Antonio that are hot so much of the year. Because you have units in different areas of your home, you can run air conditioning only where and when you need it, which can substantially cut down on electric bills.
Packaged Air Conditioning
Another option for air conditioning is packaged central air conditioning. Unlike split systems, these units combine all of the major components within a single unit outside of the building. Ductwork pulls the hot air from indoors and sends it to the unit and returns cooled air, much like within a split system. The difference is that the heat exchange all happens in the same unit, and no interior unit is necessary. These units will be quieter indoors and in some cases may be easier to service since only one unit is involved.
Are You Looking For A New AC Unit?
If your current air conditioning unit is on the fritz and you are considering a replacement, give ABC Home and Commercial Services Austin a call. Our expert HVAC technicians can come out to your home or small business and discuss different options with you. Your comfort is just a call away!