Air Conditioners Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking for an air conditioner? These buyers guide with frequently asked questions about air conditioners will help you to make the best choice for you.

What Is The Difference Between HVAC And Air Conditioning?

When it comes to air conditioning units there are plenty of Frequently Asked Questions About Air Conditioning.  One of the areas where homeowners usually become confused is by determining the difference between HVAC and air conditioning units. Everyone knows the two are different, but many people are uncertain of just what features separate them.

What makes things even more bewildering is the fact that contractors and builders often use the two terms interchangeably.

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning, while AC just refers to Air Conditioning. To try and simplify things: AC is normally used to refer to systems that cool the air in your home. HVAC includes both heating and cooling. It can comprise heat pumps, gas furnaces, plus air conditioning units, and any vent-work or ducts created to release moisture. So to sum it up, the difference is: an HVAC unit heats, ventilates, and cools your home, and an AC unit will only cool your home.

What Are The Various Types Of AC?

You should be aware that there are 6 fundamental types of AC equipment available on the market. Every one of these is created to fulfill a specific purpose. However, there are 2 types of air conditioners that are vastly in demand: window units and central air. So these are the ones we will be discussing first.

1. Central Air Conditioner

This air conditioner is the best option if you own a large, comfortable home and want to cool several rooms altogether. What this unit does is employ what is referred to as a ‘split system’ that controls the flow of air through ducts that are placed in your home. Another way it is referred to is as a ‘ducted system’.

The system is composed of two basic units, thus the term split. The outdoor unit consists of the compressor and condenser. The indoor unit holds the air handler and also the evaporator coils. As is normal for any air conditioner unit, central air conditioning uses refrigerants to take the heat out of the indoor air. Then this heat is drawn outdoors and cool air is brought in through the ducts.

2. Window Air Conditioner

Because they come in various sizes, window AC systems are ideal to cool just one room. A large window air conditioner even has the ability to cool an averaged size home. This is why window AC’s are the most commonly purchased type of air conditioner.

What exactly is a window AC? It is one unit with all of its parts safely encompassed within it. Heat is blown out of the outdoor side and cool air is blown into the room. It is either placed in a window or by creating a hole in the wall. All of these air conditioners have a removable filter that requires regular cleaning for you to receive the full effect of the air conditioner.

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3. Ductless Mini-Split System

Being small and compact, a ductless mini-split system is an ideal option for modern homes. It is an outdoor unit with a compressor and a condenser that join up with one or more indoor units. The indoor units are placed on a wall and fitted with air blowers. Tubing is what connects both indoor and outdoor units, and a coolant passes through them.

Because of their size, these units fit easily into a room, so each room of the house normally has its own unit installed to be used for cooling or heating. These air conditioners are considered to be a lot more energy efficient than some of the other types available.

4. Portable Air Conditioner

These air conditioners are a lot like window air conditioners. For one thing, they too are placed in a single unit containing all parts inside. But the big difference is that this type of air conditioner can be moved from room to room. You only need a power outlet and a window where the air can be eliminated through the funnel.

This type of air conditioner is excellent if you require temporary space cooling, or anywhere it just doesn’t make sense to install a window air conditioner. These air conditioners can be single-hose or dual-hose.

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5. Floor-Mounted Air Conditioner

It’s all about convenience with air conditioners that are mounted on the floor. They make a great substitute if you would rather have a mini-split but don’t have the necessary space for a wall-mounted unit. The indoor unit sits on the floor, and the outdoor unit can be simply installed, without the need for any ductwork. This makes the air conditioner perfect for areas with slanted walls, such as attics.

The entire unit can be installed as much as 6 inches above the floor, and is hooked up to the outdoor unit through a hole that is made in the wall.

6. Smart Air Conditioner

A type of window, mini-split, or portable air conditioner that comes enabled with the internet (internet of Things or IoT). They are hooked up to Wi-Fi and use a native app to supply global control through the use of a smartphone.

What Are The Top 5 Air Conditioners?

LG 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White

1. LG Electronics 12,000 BTU Smart Window Air ConditionerThis top-notch air conditioner can cool an area of 550 square feet, and can be connected to Amazon, Alexa or Apple Smart Home to be able to use voice control.

LG 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner with Manual Controls, 115V, White

2. LG Electronics 5000 BTU Window Air ConditionerA small unit with two fan and cooling speeds, it cools small areas as much as 150 square feet wide.

Frigidaire FFRE083ZA1 19" Energy Star Window Mounted Air Conditioner with 8000 BTU Cooling Capacity 115 Volts in White

3. Frigidaire 8,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerComes with eight-way comfort control that guarantees air flow will reach the whole room.

Portable Electric Air Conditioner Unit - 1150W 12000 BTU Power Plug In AC Indoor Room Conditioning System w/ Cooler, Dehumidifier, Fan, Exhaust Hose, Window Seal, Wheels, Remote - SereneLife

4. SereneLife 12,000 BTU Portable Air ConditionerA sophisticated and light weight portable air conditioner that cools rooms fast.

GE AHQQ06LX Serenity Quiet 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner, White

5. GE Serenity Ultra Quiet 6,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerGreat window unit that is ultra-quiet and can cool spaces equal to 250 square feet.

What Is The Best Type Of Air Conditioning?

Central air conditioning comes highly recommended as the best type of air conditioning. It is the most effective and efficient manner to keep your entire home cool. Furthermore, it conserves energy while providing great indoor comfort, temperatures that are cooler, and lower humidity. Since all the air conditioning components remain outside, you can enjoy being cool with a system that is both unnoticeable and silent.

What Should I Look For When Buying An Air Conditioner?

When you decide to buy a new HVAC system you should know some things to look for.

1. Right Size System

Some older homes will not have the correct size system. This can lead to oversized equipment being installed. This cuts into the life expectancy of the system and won’t supply the level of air quality and comfort a properly sized system would. Your contractor should be able to inform you what size system is required for your home.

2. Buy High-Efficiency

Go for the HVAC equipment with the highest efficiency you can reasonably afford and that will function properly when paired with your home.

3. Purchase IAQ With Your New System

IAQ stands for Indoor Air Quality and refers to items like high-efficiency air filtration systems and humidifiers, which are normally added to HVAC systems. In most cases, the contractor will provide a discount on these items when they are putting in a new system.

4. Select the Right Contractor

Selecting the right contractor to install your new system is important when purchasing a new air conditioning system. You need a contractor who is experienced and professional, and who will take the time to be certain that your system is installed correctly.

What Is The Best Month To Buy An Air Conditioner?

If you are having a new central air conditioning system installed, spring or fall are the best seasons to do so. HVAC installers are the busiest in summer and winter when the outdoor temperatures are either extremely hot or extremely cold.

Which AC Unit Is The Most Energy-Efficient?

The ultimate efficient air conditioner is a ductless mini-split system. They can achieve SEER ratings as high as 38.

What Is (A Good) EER Rating?

A good EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) is at least 13.

How Much Should a New Air Conditioner Cost?

Basically, the cost for replacing the average central air conditioner is around $5,000. Be aware though that this price will vary according to how big your home is and the difficulty of the work. Furthermore, the labor necessary to remove and dispose of your old system will increase the price.

How Much Does Air Conditioning Cost Per Month?

Central air will likely cost you around $120 a month to run for an average home. Now a good window AC unit runs on around 1.2 kilowatts and should cost about $0,15 an hour to run.

Related article: How Long Does An Air Conditioner Last And When To Replace

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