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Types of Air Conditioning Systems for Homes

Air conditioning has become an essential part of most homes. As the years go by, summers seem brutal, and the only way to survive the season is to have a reliable cooling system.

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Technological advancement makes finding an AC that fits your budget and needs easier. Choosing the suitable AC depends on several factors besides affordability.

I celebrate the numerous options available to homeowners today. You don’t have to struggle with the discomfort of the heat, as most people did a few years back. Manufacturers have worked tirelessly to offer solutions for every kind of household.

I’ve highlighted most of the commonly available AC systems for homes below. You will be surprised that you don’t have to break the bank to get a unit that works for you.

Choosing the Right AC System for Your Home

All AC systems are perfect, depending on the intended use, which is why our friends over at Year Round Heating & Air – HVAC services in Redlands, CA can help you find the best fit for your home or building.  This means that not all units will work for all homes or buildings.

It would be best if you had criteria to choose an appropriate system for your home. When I moved to New York, my biggest headache for the new apartment I got was getting the right AC.

For about two weeks, I visited numerous HVAC shops and hardware stores to figure out what would work. A simple search on Google was not enough, too, since the recommendations were wild and confused me.

It was not until my sister suggested that I visit an HVAC company near my new house. I realized I should have done this earlier.

The technician taught me many HVAC tips that I had taken for granted.

I’ll share a summarized version of what to look for in an AC system as recommended by experts.

Have a Budget

The variety of AC systems in the market is impossible to exhaust. You will be overwhelmed and confused if you do not set a budget limit for yourself.

Have an idea of what you want and possible research costs in your location. Set a budget range you are willing to spend and stick to it to avoid regretting it.

Always Think about the Energy Consumption

Don’t fall for the marketing hype that manufacturers and promoters have. An AC system can look and sound great until you get to the energy consumption data.

Pick a unit that you can comfortably manage. After all, no one wants to be stuck with expensive energy bills every month.

Maintenance and Space

Everything might check out above, but it still fails to work. The unit’s appropriateness only works if you know about maintenance and space. Some AC units are too large for your home space.

Outdoor units may require a special platform or an enclosure to protect them. Besides that, you should always choose a unit you can maintain to increase efficiency.

Cooling Power

The AC’s primary reason is to cool your home. Choose a unit with sufficient power to keep the entire house cool all season long.

Types of AC Systems to Consider

Once you know what to look for, you can check out the variety of AC systems and brands on sale. Be sure to refer to your checklist whenever you find a type that impresses you.

Central Air Conditioner

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These have to be the oldest and most common AC systems. They are perfect for large homes with multiple rooms.

The central AC uses a split system that relies on ducts to regulate the air in your home. It is commonly known as a duct system.

Usually, this split system has two units in one. The outdoor unit houses the compressor and condenser. The indoor unit comprises the air handler and evaporator coils.

The central AC unit uses a refrigerant to eliminate heat from indoor spaces. It then forces it outdoors through the duct system.

Improved technology makes it possible to program this unit.


  • Cools all rooms connected to the ductwork at the same time
  • It offers overall comfort since it reduces humidity in all rooms


  • High energy consumption
  • Efficiency problems occur when ducts fail
  •  It may not be aesthetically pleasing to all homeowners due to the large sizes

Ductless Mini-Split Units

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These work best in contemporary homes where you need no ductwork. They are also more efficient.

Ductless mini split units have both indoor and outdoor units. Outdoor units comprise the condenser and compressor. Additionally, indoor units are wall-mounted and contain blowers.

The outdoor and indoor units connect via tubing. The two units have refrigerants circulating through them based on the users’ needs.

They are appropriate for single rooms and work as heating and cooling units. Ductless units are compact and easy to install for each room.


  • Easy installation since there is no ductwork
  • Individual room temperature regulation


  • Works only for smaller homes/ spaces
  • They are visible because they wall mounted

Window Air Conditioners

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These ACs are perfect for smaller spaces/ rooms. They come in varied sizes and are the most common type of AC because of their versatility.

Windows ACs are single units that come with all components enclosed inside. They work by ejecting heat on the outdoor side and blowing cool air on the indoor side. Make sure to clean and replace filters regularly to enhance efficiency.


  • Easy to install and maintain
  • No floor space needed
  • Cheap to install and operate


  • It can be noisy and visible from outside
  • Obstruct window view
  • Not suited for all windows

Portable AC

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These ACs are similar to window ACs because they are free-standing and moveable. They should be placed close to a window and are perfect for temporary cooling.


  • Easy to set up
  • They need no permanent installation as they are moveable
  • Effective for spot cooling
  • Easy to store away


  • Suited for small spaces
  • It may be too noisy
  • Obstruct the window since they have to be close to one.

Other not-so-common AC types include:

  • Floor-mounted ACs – Excellent for the aged
  • Geothermal ACs – Are energy efficient
  • Hybrid ACs – Maximum comfort at a reduced cost
  • Smart ACs – Offer convenience since they are internet enabled


Which is the most popular AC option for home use?

The central AC is more popular with homeowners

What is the cheapest form of air conditioning?

The window AC is the most affordable.

What is the latest technology in air conditioning?

Thermal-driven air condoning technique is the latest HVAC technology.
This video explains the different types of air conditioning systems.