Efficient air-conditioning options exist for all types of homes and businesses. Choose your summer cooling from these options.
Central air conditioning
Central air conditioning uses the ductwork connected with the heating system to distribute cooled and conditioned air throughout the space. Central air conditioners cost less than air-source heat pumps, but without the benefit of highly efficient winter heating that air-source heat pumps offer.
Central air-conditioning systems are eligible to participate in the CoolSavings air-conditioning cycling program that pays a monthly credit from June through September when you allow us to cycle the system on and off every 15 minutes during peak or emergency situations. You’ll stay cool and save!
No ductwork? No problem.
- Ductless air-conditioning options make it possible to install quiet, efficient air-conditioning in your home or business even if it doesn't have a ductwork system.
- Ductless (or mini-split) air-conditioning systems consist of one or more quiet, compact indoor air-distribution units linked by refrigeration lines to an efficient outdoor compressor. Distribution units are mounted on the wall or ceiling. A small hole of less than three inches in diameter is used to link the distribution unit to the compressor.
- Ductless systems eliminate costly remodeling projects and the security risk of window units.
- Installing ductless air conditioning costs a little more than standard central air-conditioning, but much less than the cost of installing ductwork for a central air conditioner.
Ductless air-conditioning systems do not qualify for the CoolSavings program.
High-velocity air conditioning
High-velocity air-conditioning systems distribute cooled air at higher speeds through insulated, flexible tubes that, unlike ductwork, may be installed in closets, between wall studs or ceiling joists, and around obstructions to reach every room without major remodeling. Main trunks may be only six inches in diameter, with delivery ducts possibly only three inches in diameter. The tubing system connects to a compact, quiet compressor that can be fitted in an attic, basement, or crawl space.
- Though somewhat more expensive than ductless air-conditioning, a high-velocity system can provide air conditioning to an entire home or business.
- High-velocity air conditioning creates gentle circulation without drafts so temperatures stay even from floor to ceiling.
- Another advantage is that these systems can remove up to 30% more moisture from the air than conventional central air-conditioning systems. You'll feel comfortable at higher temperature settings, which can help reduce your cooling costs.
Featured on remodeling shows like This Old House, high-velocity air conditioning is a great answer for historic homes.
Window, wall, or portable air-conditioning
Window air conditioners are self-contained units that exhaust heat and humidity from the room to the outside. Manufactured for standard and casement windows, which are taller and narrower than standard units, they have louvers on the back and sides that bring in fresh air. The air runs through coils, which are cooled by the compressor using refrigerant, and then the fan pushes the cool air back into the room. Window units require little work to install. The disadvantages are that because they're self-contained, they're noisier than split systems and obstruct window views.
Wall air conditioners are similar to window units in that they're self-contained and exhaust heat and humidity to the outside. They fit in a hole made in an exterior wall and generally cool a single room. They're more complex to install because the opening needs to be sized and a sleeve installed to support the unit. They're also permanent and a source for winter air leaks. The advantage is that they can be placed out of the way and won’t obstruct window views.
Portable air conditioners offer more flexibility to be moved around than other window or through-the-wall air conditioners offer. Portable air conditioners have wheels and are between 2 feet and 3 feet tall. Condensation is either collected in a bucket, which must be dumped to avoid spills, or recycled back into the air. To be effective the hot air collected must be vented to the outside. A narrow hose attaches to the air conditioner and must be placed to vent out through a window, sliding door, wall, or ceiling.
Talk to your local HVAC contractor for help selecting the best air conditioning option for your home or business.