Which Air Conditioner is Right for Your Home?

Woman enjoying the icy cold air from an air conditioner

May represents the peak summer season, and it’s the perfect time to replace your old Air Conditioner system to get the benefit of enjoying the new one all summer long. Unless you’ve been a long-time homeowner, odds are you’re a first-time buyer just starting to shop around for a new AC. Below are the primary air conditioning systems you’ll encounter along with your search and helpful information about each of them.

Central Air Conditioners

Central air conditioners are the most common cooling system in the US. Through an interconnected system of ducts and return registers, a central air conditioning system takes cool air, then circulates it through your home. Naturally, that air will warm as it travels through your home. It then travels back through those ducts and return registers on its way out of the home.

During the hot Florida summers, central air systems offer the added benefit of naturally dehumidifying the air. However, some days the extreme humidity here in Orlando may make it more advantageous to invest in a dedicated dehumidifier. The knowledgeable technicians at Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning can help you with that, too.

There are two kinds of central air conditioning systems: split systems and packaged central air systems. Take a look at the equipment currently installed in your home, and you’ll be on the right track to know what to look for when you’re ready to replace it.

Split Systems

Split systems are the most common. They separate the evaporator coil (your inside unit – the air handler), which removes heat and moisture from the air, from the compressor and condenser coils (your outside unit), which provides cool air throughout the house. This is what we find in most residential applications in our area.

Packaged Central Air Conditioners

The other type is a packaged central air conditioner which includes the evaporator, compressor and condenser in one single unit. Located on the roof or on a weather-proof concrete slab outside the home, packaged central air conditioners draw air from the home, convert it to cool air and then return that cool air throughout the home. These are essentially an all-in-one option for most heating and cooling needs. You may have this type of system if you live in College Park or other areas with historic homes that were built with less attic space for ductwork.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners

As the name suggests, no ducts are needed for this type of system. If you don’t have existing ducts or simply don’t want them, then ductless mini-splits are a great choice. These mini-split systems don’t need ductwork for the cool air to travel because they’re directly connected to an air conditioner and/or heat pump that feeds into various rooms throughout your home via air handlers. This makes ductless mini-split systems easy to control as you can manage your entire house from one central thermostat or adjust the temperature in each individual room through the air handlers.

The ability to manage each room’s air can be a great asset when trying to optimize your usage and save money on your monthly energy bill. These systems are seen as an alternative to window AC units which can be very loud, inefficient and generally difficult to install. Mini-splits are an outstanding solution for rooms that may have hot or cold spots or rooms that you may want to cool that don’t have air conditioning in them already, like a bonus room or a garage.

Once you decide whether you’re looking for a central air conditioner or a ductless system, you’ll have the option to choose between a straight cool or a heat pump.

Heat Pumps

Even though “heat” is in the title, heat pumps are uniquely designed to handle both heating and cooling functions. In the winter months, heat pumps pull warm air into the home from the outside and, in the summer, it pumps the hot air out of your home. You’ll find that we recommend heat pumps often to our neighbors here in Orlando. It’s a great way to get the most features and benefits from your new system, optimize efficiency, and maximize the cost savings on your energy bill.

The Right Choice in Air Conditioning

Make sure that the options you’re exploring fit with the layout of your house and can achieve your specific heating and cooling needs. The type of air conditioning unit you purchase is an important decision. This article should give you head start in your research. However, the best option is to contact your trusted air conditioning technicians at Scott’s Heating & Air to find out which system is the perfect fit for your home.

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