You probably understand that most air conditioners require service, but are you aware that there are various kinds of service available? Furthermore, do you know that different air conditioning types need servicing in diverse ways? Well, you know it now. Of course, you might still be wondering what kind of service goes with every kind of air conditioning, especially if you’re investing in an AC for the first time. Don’t worry: our guide to different air conditioning types and their service can help you make smart choices and stay comfortable in hot weather.
An Overview of Different Air Conditioning Types
There are approximately six different air conditioning types found in most residences throughout the United States. The kind of air conditioner you own will determine the service options available to you, so it is always best to research the service options in your area before you purchase a new AC. The following is a list of the different air conditioning types:
- Central Air Conditioning
Central air conditioners are some of the most commonly used systems throughout the United States. Central HVAC systems use a system of ducts to circulate treated air throughout a home, allowing a single unit to cool an entire residence if it has adequate ductwork in place. Central air conditioning systems tend to be highly energy efficient, and are often the most cost-effective options for homeowners in the long run. If you own a central air conditioner, you will need to use a licensed technician who is capable of cleaning and repairing ducts, since problems with ductwork account for many common central AC issues.
- Ductless Mini Split Systems
Ductless mini split-system air conditioners are standard in homes that have been updated or added to over the years and have areas where ductwork may not reach. They use small, modular units to provide versatile cooling capabilities to their users and are often less intrusive in their appearance than other systems. Ductless mini split systems may require electrical work or refrigerant charges at regular intervals over the course of their lifetimes. Note that it is not cost-effective to cool your entire home with ductless mini split-system air conditioners because the number of units needed to cool each room in a house would be decidedly expensive.
- Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners are typically used to cool single rooms or small studio apartments. They are inefficient in larger spaces, which makes them supplementary options at best when used in multi-room homes. Window air conditioners will need regular mechanical and electrical service to keep them running efficiently. If you use one, take care not to neglect it.
- Portable Air Conditioners
Portable air conditioners are similar to window air conditioners in that they are most effective when used to cool individual rooms. However, they offer one significant advantage over window units, which must remain in the window where they were installed. Portable air conditioners, on the other hand, can easily be moved from room to room. Their convenience and relative cost-effectiveness (when used in small spaces) make them popular with apartment-dwellers. Like window air conditioners, they will need occasional service from professionals who can replace worn out mechanical components, recharge refrigerant, and replace filters.
- Hybrid Models
Hybrid air conditioners may come in the form of central systems, but we include them as a separate category because they require specific attention. A hybrid air conditioner uses a heat pump and draws its power from both fossil fuel and electricity. As such, it can be more cost-effective during peak demand periods—provided fuel prices do not offset energy savings. If you are considering a hybrid air conditioner or heat pump, make sure that you use a contractor who is qualified to work on both central heating and cooling systems, and who holds the appropriate licenses for each.
- Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Geothermal technology cools your home by drawing heat out of the air and transferring it to the ground. These systems are long lasting and relatively energy-efficient, although they tend to have high up-front price points. There are also limited numbers of service technicians available in most regions for maintenance on geothermal systems, so be careful to make sure someone in your area can work on them before you purchase one.
Research Your Service Options Carefully
The most important thing to do when you are looking for a new air conditioner is to make sure there are professionals in your area who can give it the service it needs. Look for companies whose members have experience with multiple varieties, and who hold the required licenses and certifications for the work they offer. If you want to learn more about the various air conditioning types available to you, contact Valley Comfort Heating and Air. One of our trustworthy technicians will be happy to discuss your options with you in greater detail so that you can choose an efficient system and capable service providers.