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4 Types of Air Conditioners: How They Work & When They’re a Good Fit

Posted on May 30, 2017Rick Welter

A Central Air Conditioner

 

While spring is a wonderful time to rejoice the end of winter, it also provides us with a friendly reminder that summer is right around the corner.

Of course, anyone who has experienced a humid Minnesota summer without the sanctuary of air conditioning knows how brutal it can be. After all, windows and floor fans can only offer so much relief.

If you don’t currently have air conditioning or are due for a much-needed upgrade, installing a system before summer hits is always a savvy decision. As you can imagine, HVAC professionals are busiest during the summer months, and if you wait until then to install a system you might end up waiting awhile.

Depending on the size and dimensions of your residence, there are different air conditioners that will best serve your cooling needs. This post will go through the various air conditioning systems and how they work to help you decide which system is the best fit for you.

1. Window Air Conditioning

Window air conditioners are self-contained units that are typically placed in a window. They can also be installed by creating a hole in an exterior wall of a room, however we advise against adding at DIY hole to your home.

Window air conditioners are most useful for apartments and single-level homes. They come in many different sizes and builds to fit a variety of window types. The bigger the unit, the more cool air generated.

Window air conditioners are typically the most cost-effective air conditioning system to purchase, but their air output can be limited. To get around this limitation, many people use multiple window units in their home. If you place one on each level of your home, and use fans to circulate the air, you can cobble together a simulated central air system. Though, this wouldn’t be the most prudent strategy from an energy efficiency standpoint.

2. Split Air Conditioning

Split air conditioning systems are sometimes found in houses, but are more commonly found in hotels, motels and apartments.

Split air conditioning systems utilize a two-terminal system that are placed with plenty of distance between them. Refrigerant tubing connects the two systems by passing through the walls that separate them.

One terminal is positioned on the exterior of the residence. This terminal serves as the air generator by condensing cold air and sending it into the home through the refrigerant tubing. On the inside of the residence, mounted high on a wall, is the other terminal, which serves as the distribution center for the cool air. This terminal features the fan that blows the air throughout the residence.

Generally speaking, split air systems are great options for smaller, older homes that do not have an existing system of ducts installed, or if the home has heating ducts that can’t be accessed by an air conditioning unit.

3. Central Air Conditioning

When it comes to air conditioning systems, central air units are considered the most luxurious because they are able to cool each room in your home simultaneously. They consist of two packaged units: a condensing unit and an evaporative unit. Similar to the split air conditioning system, the two units are connected to each other through refrigerant tubing.

The condensing unit is the square-shaped exterior unit. It generates the cool air that is propelled into the evaporative unit. The evaporative unit is located inside a home near the furnace, allowing it to distribute cool air through the furnace duct system.

From our perspective, a central air conditioning system is the absolute best way to evenly distribute cool air throughout a home. Welter often uses Trane XLi central air conditioning systems, which provide homeowners with quiet performance and maximum comfort.

4. Heat Pump System

Heat pumps use electricity to move warm and cold air around a home, rather than burning fuel to do so. During the summer, a heat pump systems concentrates the warm air within your home and dumps it outside. During the winter, a heat pump brings concentrated warm air from outside and delivers it into your home.

Typically, one of the greatest benefits of a heat pump system is they’re more energy efficient than other air conditioning systems. However, heat pump systems are most effective in mild climates. Of course, Minnesota’s hot summers and frigid winters are anything but mild. But the good news is that a heat pump can be used in tandem with your core HVAC system to increase efficiency.

Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

Homeowners often ask whether they should repair or outright replace their air conditioner. The right answer will depend on several factors such as age of the unit and maintenance history.

If you’re trying to decide, check out our post Should You Repair Or Replace Your Minneapolis Air Conditioning Unit?.

If you want to learn more about our services, take a peek at our air conditioning installation and repair page, or air conditioning maintenance page. Or feel free to contact us.

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4 Types of Air Conditioners: How They Work & When They’re a Good Fit

Posted on May 30, 2017Rick Welter

A Central Air Conditioner

 

While spring is a wonderful time to rejoice the end of winter, it also provides us with a friendly reminder that summer is right around the corner.

Of course, anyone who has experienced a humid Minnesota summer without the sanctuary of air conditioning knows how brutal it can be. After all, windows and floor fans can only offer so much relief.

If you don’t currently have air conditioning or are due for a much-needed upgrade, installing a system before summer hits is always a savvy decision. As you can imagine, HVAC professionals are busiest during the summer months, and if you wait until then to install a system you might end up waiting awhile.

Depending on the size and dimensions of your residence, there are different air conditioners that will best serve your cooling needs. This post will go through the various air conditioning systems and how they work to help you decide which system is the best fit for you.

1. Window Air Conditioning

Window air conditioners are self-contained units that are typically placed in a window. They can also be installed by creating a hole in an exterior wall of a room, however we advise against adding at DIY hole to your home.

Window air conditioners are most useful for apartments and single-level homes. They come in many different sizes and builds to fit a variety of window types. The bigger the unit, the more cool air generated.

Window air conditioners are typically the most cost-effective air conditioning system to purchase, but their air output can be limited. To get around this limitation, many people use multiple window units in their home. If you place one on each level of your home, and use fans to circulate the air, you can cobble together a simulated central air system. Though, this wouldn’t be the most prudent strategy from an energy efficiency standpoint.

2. Split Air Conditioning

Split air conditioning systems are sometimes found in houses, but are more commonly found in hotels, motels and apartments.

Split air conditioning systems utilize a two-terminal system that are placed with plenty of distance between them. Refrigerant tubing connects the two systems by passing through the walls that separate them.

One terminal is positioned on the exterior of the residence. This terminal serves as the air generator by condensing cold air and sending it into the home through the refrigerant tubing. On the inside of the residence, mounted high on a wall, is the other terminal, which serves as the distribution center for the cool air. This terminal features the fan that blows the air throughout the residence.

Generally speaking, split air systems are great options for smaller, older homes that do not have an existing system of ducts installed, or if the home has heating ducts that can’t be accessed by an air conditioning unit.

3. Central Air Conditioning

When it comes to air conditioning systems, central air units are considered the most luxurious because they are able to cool each room in your home simultaneously. They consist of two packaged units: a condensing unit and an evaporative unit. Similar to the split air conditioning system, the two units are connected to each other through refrigerant tubing.

The condensing unit is the square-shaped exterior unit. It generates the cool air that is propelled into the evaporative unit. The evaporative unit is located inside a home near the furnace, allowing it to distribute cool air through the furnace duct system.

From our perspective, a central air conditioning system is the absolute best way to evenly distribute cool air throughout a home. Welter often uses Trane XLi central air conditioning systems, which provide homeowners with quiet performance and maximum comfort.

4. Heat Pump System

Heat pumps use electricity to move warm and cold air around a home, rather than burning fuel to do so. During the summer, a heat pump systems concentrates the warm air within your home and dumps it outside. During the winter, a heat pump brings concentrated warm air from outside and delivers it into your home.

Typically, one of the greatest benefits of a heat pump system is they’re more energy efficient than other air conditioning systems. However, heat pump systems are most effective in mild climates. Of course, Minnesota’s hot summers and frigid winters are anything but mild. But the good news is that a heat pump can be used in tandem with your core HVAC system to increase efficiency.

Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

Homeowners often ask whether they should repair or outright replace their air conditioner. The right answer will depend on several factors such as age of the unit and maintenance history.

If you’re trying to decide, check out our post Should You Repair Or Replace Your Minneapolis Air Conditioning Unit?.

If you want to learn more about our services, take a peek at our air conditioning installation and repair page, or air conditioning maintenance page. Or feel free to contact us.

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