Today’s Houston homeowner can choose from five (and a half) different types of air conditioners, each with benefits and downsides. Selecting the right air conditioner for your home is a balance of budget, installation, space and other factors.
The Five and a Half Types
Most people immediately think of central air conditioning when they think of AC. Central air conditioning, though, is only one of five (and a half) ways to cool off:
- Central: Single units or split systems efficiently cool your whole house, if you already have ductwork. This can be an affordable and cost-efficient choice for homeowners. Central air conditioning is a fantastic option to keep you cool and comfortable during the hot, humid summer months.
- Wall-through: The same window AC unit can be put in a hole cut through your exterior wall, freeing up the window.
Portable: You can move these dehumidifying coolers from room to room, saving money but having to do a lot of handling.
- Commercial rooftop unit: These cost effective air conditioners sit atop commercial buildings and are used only for cooling. A quality unit is necessary in order to withstand the outdoor elements.
- Mitsubishi System: These HOA-friendly units are placed inside a room, to provide quiet, efficient remote-controlled cooling and heating. The application must be warranted since it only cools one room; however, you can now place multiple units in your home and install one unit outside which can act as a master system to control them all. This scenario can emulate central air conditioning, but this option is often more expensive. If your home has an attic, it would be more cost-effective to install a split central air system.
The “half” AC is one season of a heat pump, which can serve year-round duty as a heating system in fall and winter and a cooling system in spring and summer.
Which is the Best for You?
Choose based on at least these three criteria:
- Cost: You may have to crunch some significant numbers to figure out which path is best for you financially, but central air conditioning and Mitsubishi systems typically cost thousands, while two or three through-the-wall units may not even cost $1,000. Heat pumps are on a par with central air conditioners but provide double duty.
- Lifespan: Central AC and heat pumps will last at least 15 to 20 years with annual service. Small units will last around a decade before becoming too inefficient to justify their energy consumption. Portable units tend not to get the heavy workout of other units and may last 10 to 15 years.
- Installation: Central AC, Mitsubishi systems and heat pumps depend on expert air conditioner installation service in Houston by a local, trained HVAC contractor. Window and wall AC units are homeowner-installed pieces (if the wall hole already exists). A portable AC unit requires no installation beyond plugging it in and venting the hose.
The premier Houston AC company to turn to for all your air conditioning needs is Custom Air Systems. Contact us today to learn how we can help you find the right type of air conditioner for your Houston-area home.