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Two Key Decisions to Make When Choosing an Air Conditioner

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It can be hard to choose the right air conditioner, as they are available in so many variations. To help, here are two key considerations to think about.

What Type of System Should You Choose?

Air conditioners come in different configurations to suit diverse homes and situations. One option is a portable unit where everything is compact and can be moved from room to room. If you're renting, you can take a portable unit with you when you move out.

A more permanent solution to home heating and cooling is a split-system air conditioner. With these setups, the evaporator component is fitted to a room's wall and the condenser is installed outside. The two parts are connected via wires and refrigerant-filled coils, fed through small holes in the wall.

Split systems are flexible as they come in a range of capacities. You can install a lower-capacity model in a small unit or a powerful model in a large, open living space. If you want to cool and heat more than one room, you can install a multi-split system that has one outdoor unit servicing multiple indoor ones.

For air conditioning that can reach every corner of your home, you can look to ducted air conditioning. The indoor unit is typically concealed in the crawl space, from where it delivers the air to a duct network and room vents. Ducted systems are the most discrete option, as the vents lie flush with the ceiling, floor or wall. However, the installation process is more complex than with other options. The duct network needs to be set up and the vents integrated into the house.

Should You Add Heating?

A second major decision you will need to make is whether to install a unit for cooling or one for both cooling and heating, such as a reverse-cycle system. The convenience of a reverse-cycle model is that you won't need to install a separate heater. If you fit a ducted system, the heating mode will ensure that the infrastructure is useful in all seasons. It won't be idle in the winter.

If you have a split system, the heating mode will help to streamline your rooms. The evaporator unit can serve the double function of a heater and a cooler. You can also purchase a reverse-cycle portable unit, which will save you the cost of a separate heater.

In regards to electrical heating, a reverse-cycle model is relatively energy efficient. These systems don't generate heat as a gas furnace does by burning fuel. Nor do they create heat like a radiant heater with a hot element. Instead, reverse-cycle heating uses the refrigerant to absorb the hidden ambient warmth in the air outside and relocate that warmth inside.

For more information about home heating and cooling, reach out to a local service.