How To Identify The Best Air Conditioner For You

Air conditioners make the home comfortable to live in even on the hottest or coldest days of the year, and some people find it hard to live without one. So how does someone know the best air conditioners for their homes?

There are obvious factors like budget, type of house, and the size of the house. However, there are other factors like how flexible the air conditioner can be, how many brooms it can cool or warm at once, how it looks inside the home, the carbon footprint of the conditioner, and how much energy it consumes.

There are different air conditioners, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here is some info we obtained from a local Las Vegas AC repair company that might help out your decision on which type to select:

Ductless Mini Split AC

The ductless mini-split air conditioner is a big air conditioner, which remains in sight in the room where it is installed. It offers the owner the convenience of controlling different room temperatures rather than relying on a central thermostat.  It is easier to install as it only requires a small hole drilled into the wall. The absence of ductwork is probably the highest advantage as it improves air quality. The air does not have a chance of collecting any dust from the ducts, and neither does it warm up as it travels to the home.
Ductless air conditioners are best for people who;

  • Care about the environment and energy efficiency.
  • Do not mind having a big box on their walls.
  • Do not want to have ducts in their walls.
  • Want to heat new spaces not convenient for existing central air.

Ducted or Central Air Conditioners

They provide cooling or heating via ducts installed all over the home, making it impossible for installation into old structures. The central unit, which has the compressor, condenser, and an air handling unit, is located outside the house, in the garage or basement.

Air from the compressor then travels through the ducts into the house via discretely installed vents and ducts either directly mounted onto the wall or as a compact floor-standing unit. They are costly to install because of the duct installation.

Ducted air conditioners eliminate humidity in the air, and they are perfect for large houses or commercial rooms. The main disadvantage with this type of air conditioning system is that there can be an accumulation of dust ad mold on the ducts, compromising the air quality. They also need a lot of maintenance.

Owners can use two types of ducting to install this system. Flexible ducting consists of tube-like structures made from a metal framework with flexible insulation and plastic around them.

It is easier to install and cheaper. It is best for small spaces or at the end of rigid ducting to connect it with the air outlet. Rigid ducting is done with study ducts made of metal, which makes them harder to install.

Split air conditioners are types of ducted air conditioners made for individual areas in a home like a bedroom or the sitting room. They are economical as the owner will only buy one unit at a time, and it also consumes less energy.

They also allow the owner to select the rooms they want air-conditioned. It is also efficient when air conditioning compact spaces.

Multi-split air conditioners are another type of ducted air conditioners, which allows the owner to run different air conditioners giving independent temperature control in every room for up to five rooms.

The owner can also choose different indoor units for different rooms like wall-mounted, floor-standing, duct connected, or castle type units. Central or ducted air conditioning systems are best for people who;

  • Are constructing new houses or completely remodeling their old homes.
  • Want invisible cooling systems.
  • Do not mind spending a lot of money.

Window Air Conditioners

They are a perfect option for renters because they do not need any holes cut into the wall, and it is not a permanent system. The compressor, expansion valve, and condenser are in one box, found outside the window.

There are louvered vents inside the window, where the cold air from outside comes through, which are not easily spotted. Heavier window air conditioners need extra support for them to remain hanging outside the window. They are best for people who;

  • Have windows that open horizontally.
  • Want to control the temperatures of small rooms.
  • Move a lot, or cannot modify their houses.
  • Do not mind the vibration or noise it produces.
  • Want a more stylish look in their home.
  • Strong enough to bring it up and down.

Portable Air Conditioners

Although they are not as efficient as window units, they are suitable for people who move a lot and do not want the heavy air conditioner weighing them down. They are easier to move with as they are light and have wheels.

They are also suitable for people who do not have a window to install the window air conditioner. They have a venting kit connected to hoses, allowing hot air to vent out via a casement window or a sliding door and cold air to vent in.

For a portable air conditioner, owners have to choose between dual or single hose systems. Single hose systems pump hot air out of the room using one tube, which reduces the room’s air pressure. That can cause more hot air from the outside to come into the room through the window, doors, or cracks.

Dual-hose portable units suck in the hot air from the room and cool it, then release it back into the room. There is a second intake hose that pumps in cold air from the outside into the unit and pumps it back out to prevent the system from overheating.

That ensures that the unit is not overworking, ensuring its efficiency. They can cool a larger room than the single-hose portable units.

Owners can choose the color they see that will blend perfectly with their home decors. They are perfect for people who;

  • Can’t modify a building or renters.
  • Want a stylish look in their homes.
  • Have sliding doors or casement windows rather than sash windows.

Owners have to consider the air conditioners’ fan settings to ensure that they have multiple fan speeds. Also, there are convenience features like remote controls and energy-saving features that good air conditioners should have.

Do You Need Regular Air Conditioner Maintenance?

Servicing your air conditioner at least once every year is probably something you have been told. However, you actually don’t have to have it serviced or maintained as often as that.

You shouldn’t bother getting your air conditioning system tuned up in these scenarios:

Your system will still run, just not as efficiently as normal, if you don’t bother to maintain it. This lowered efficiency means higher energy bills, although if that doesn’t bother you, then there’s really no need to get a tune-up.

If you don’t regularly maintain your system, keep an eye on your energy bills to see how higher they are. To make sure it’s an accurate comparison, make sure your usage hasn’t changed. However, keep these two points in mind, as you’ll need to do more than just look at your bill:

You can expect between 10 and 15 years of use from your central air conditioner, says Consumer Reports. Although that lifespan will almost certainly be less if your system isn’t regularly maintained.

Energy Star has a useful checklist that helps you to understand this. As an example, your air conditioner will run for longer to get the job done if the coils become dirty over time, and you don’t clean them. It means your system won’t last as long, and you’ll have higher energy bills, but it will still cool your home, and you don’t have to have it maintained.

It’s all about a balance between not having to pay in the short term to have your system maintained, versus how long it will last and at what point you’ll have to replace it. But your system is more likely to need replacing at some point if you just don’t bother having it properly maintained regularly. The same logic can be applied to your car; if you don’t look after it, it will break down sooner rather than later.

Over time, your air conditioning unit can develop some of these common problems:

  • Faulty electrical connections. Your system may not operate safely, and its important parts may not last as long if electrical connections become loose over time.
  • Too much friction. You’ll use more electricity if your air conditioner isn’t properly lubricated regularly, as there will be more friction without sufficient lubrication.
  • Clogged condensate line. The humidity in your home can be affected, and you may experience water damage if your drain line is clogged.

Every year you go without servicing your air conditioning unit increases the chances of one or more of these things happening, but of course, there’s no guarantee any of them will happen.

Many homeowners understandably forget to service their air conditioning unit, or simply put it off. And being realistic, if you are the sort of person who keeps putting it off, you’ll probably never get round to it.

Of course, it will cost you a lot more to call out an HVAC technician to fix your system when it breaks down than it would call a technician to have it serviced.

So it is recommended to have your air conditioning system regularly serviced, although not a requirement. It’s all about the long term picture; you may go several years without having to spend any money on your A/C system, but then at some point, you may have a costly repair, which could have been avoided with regular maintenance.

Compare it to your 401K; you’ll have more money in the long run if you pay into it now, hard though that can be. Long term satisfaction versus short term savings is what it comes down to.