Before you opt for an air conditioning system for your home, you want to ensure you have carefully considered all your options. You may not like the expense of a central unit that works through the home's ductwork but it has many advantages over smaller units, whereas a window or portable unit can also be beneficial for many reasons as well. Before you invest in any type of unit, note a few factors about each type and your choices.
1. Portable and window units
These units are good for those who move around a lot as you can take the unit with you. They're also good for when you typically spend time in only one area of your house, as you don't want to run a central unit to cool the whole house when you're only in the living room.
However, window units and smaller portable units have one significant drawback in that they don't remove much humidity from the home. Not only can this mean a less comfortable atmosphere for you but it also may mean damage to your house from moisture and humidity buildup. If humidity should get trapped in the attic or upper floors of the home, this can lead to mold and mildew and damage to the building materials.
2. Central units
While a central unit may be the most expensive choice, it can provide the most cooling and especially in homes with poor insulation that tend to trap heat. Window and portable units may not be strong enough to keep the home cool when insulation is very thin or poorly installed. Not only would you be uncomfortable but you may also see that you use far too much power to keep the units running just to maintain the temperature. In these cases, while a central unit may be more expensive to install, they can actually be cheaper to run every season.
3. Split systems
A split system unit is vented directly out the home rather than going through the ductwork. They are stronger than window units so they can remove some humidity and keep an area cooler without being overworked. One disadvantage is that there is a front panel that needs to be placed on a wall or ceiling, so it may not be very attractive to your overall décor. However, they are often cheaper to install than a central unit and can be good for rooms where you spend the most time, such as the living room or family room.