When your home needs a new air conditioning system, you want to consider all your options carefully. It's easy to think that a ducted or central air conditioner is the best choice, but this might not always be true. Note a few simple tips for choosing the right air conditioning system for your home and then discuss these with a contractor if you still need more information.
1. Central air
A central air conditioner or system that is connected to all the ducts in the home can be good for larger houses or very warm climates, when you need to cool the entire house for it to be comfortable. However, if your home is very small or your area doesn't get very warm throughout the year, you might find that even a smaller central unit is more power than you need. Also, if the unit cools the entire home too quickly, it might not have time to remove humidity before it shuts down and your home then feels clammy. You might also find that you don't need to have the bedrooms cooled when you run the unit if you spend most of your time in the living areas and don't run the central unit at night. In these cases, a split system might be a better option.
2. Split system
A split system unit doesn't run through the ducts of your home but is vented directly out an exterior wall and works to cool a smaller area. Hotels usually have split system units so they work for one room at a time. This can be a good choice if you typically just need to cool one area of your home at a time; you can have a split system installed in the living area downstairs and another one in the bedroom upstairs so you can run them separately as needed, and use less power overall.
3. Portable units
Some homes may have a central or split system unit but find that there is one room or area that still seems to trap heat. This might be an upper room that is far from the condenser of the central air conditioner, so cool air doesn't always reach it as it should. You might also just want a small unit for one bedroom in the home without investing in a central or split system unit. In these cases, you might invest in a portable unit. This unit needs a window for the vent, but it sits on the floor and can provide cooling for just one smaller room or space at a time.
For more information and options, talk with a cooling system installation expert.