The words "what are the different types of air conditioners" in front of an air conditioner

Air conditioning is an amazing invention. It makes those hot Texas summers bearable. Who doesn’t love walking through a doorway on a summer day and being greeted by a blast of cool air? 

There are many types of air conditioning available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. In this blog post, Cote’s Mechanical will provide information on some of the most common types of residential air conditioning to help you decide which one is right for you. Here is what you need to know:

Types of Residential Air Conditioners

There are several common types of air conditioning systems available. Below, we’ll be covering some common types of air conditioners and what they can offer you. There are air conditioners available for a range of budgets. By working with a reputable HVAC specialist, you can get a better understanding of the right A/C system for your situation.

Central Air Conditioners

A Professional installer prepares to install a new Air Conditioning System in a home

Central air conditioners, also known as ducted air conditioners, are one of the most popular types of air conditioners. A central air conditioner works very well for large homes, as it can cool multiple rooms at once. It forces cold air through ducts and out of vents. A thermostat communicates with the air conditioner about the condition and temperature of the room and gives the homeowner power to change the temperature as they wish. 

Here are some strengths of central air conditioners:

  • Utilizes existing air ducts to cool a home
  • Controllable via a home thermostat
  • Do not make much sound

Here are some weaknesses of central air conditioners:

Air-Source Heat Pumps

Air-source heat pumps are capable of both heating and cooling a home. There are multiple variations of air-source heat pumps. The refrigeration system of an air-source heat pump consists of a compressor and two copper coils or aluminum coils (one coil goes on the outside of a home, and one goes inside a home). These coils have aluminum fins to help transfer heat.

Here are some strengths of air-source heat pumps:

  • Can heat and cool a home
  • Energy efficient
  • Environmentally friendly

Here are some weaknesses of air-source heat pumps:

  • Higher initial cost than other types of air conditioning
  • Fans and Compressors can be noisy. (Though, this can be reduced by positioning units away from buildings. The noise can also be reduced by mounting the unit on a noise-absorbent base.)

Portable Air Conditioners

If other types of air conditioning are out of your budget, a portable air conditioner can be useful. It uses a fan to blow cold air and has a drain hose that goes to a window to allow the condensation out. 

Here are some strengths of portable air conditioners:

  • More affordable than other types of air conditioning
  • Set up is simple
  • Here are some weaknesses of portable air conditioners:
  • A lot of noise is created while it is running
  • It takes up space in a room
  • A window will be partially obstructed

Window Air Conditioners

Window Air Conditioners utilize a built-in fan to push cool air from the outside into a home. It also releases condensation and heat outside. 

Please note: Window air conditioners can fall out of windows, presenting a danger to anyone underneath. They should be installed and maintained by a reputable professional. Also, they should have their supports regularly inspected to help prevent them from falling.

Here are some strengths of window air conditioners:

  • Affordable

Here are some weaknesses of window air conditioners:

  • Potentially dangerous due to fall risk
  • Noisy
  • Part of the window is blocked off

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners

White truck with Cote's Mechanical logo on the side

As the name suggests, ductless mini-split air conditioners are made to work in places without air ducts. A ductless mini split air conditioner uses an outdoor condenser unit and a compact blower– usually mounted inside a home on a wall. The outdoor condenser and compact blower are connected by a big conduit that contains an electric line, the refrigerant lines, as well as a drain line that sends moisture outdoors.

Here are some strengths of ductless mini-split air conditioners:

  • Does not require ducts to work
  • Helps save floor space

Here are some weaknesses of ductless mini split air conditioners:

  • Not suited for cooling big rooms or entire houses
  • Expensive

Through-The-Wall Air Conditioners, a.k.a. Floor-Mounted Air Conditioners

Through-the-wall air conditioners are made to cool isolated parts of houses or small rooms without the use of ducts. This type of A/C connects directly to an outdoor unit. Often the through-the-wall air conditioners will be mounted lower on the wall, closer to the floor.

Here are some strengths of though-the-wall air conditioners:

  • The wall-mounted design can save space
  • Relatively quiet 
  • Easier to access if it has a low mounting location

Here are some weaknesses of though-the-wall air conditioners:

  • A good-sized hole will need to be made for it to fit
  • Objects such as furniture can block airflow

Geothermal Air Conditioners

Geothermal systems are an innovative way to heat or cool your home. Geothermal A/C cools a home by removing heat from the air and transferring it to a fluid that circulates underground where the temperature is cooler.

Here are some strengths of geothermal air conditioners:

  • Better for health than other heat sources
  • Significant energy savings over time as compared to other types of A/C units
  • Can use existing ducts
  • Potential financial incentives from utility companies, state government, or federal government
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Generally longer lasting than conventional air conditioners

Here are some weaknesses of geothermal air conditioners:

  • Greater initial cost than other types of A/C

Dual-Fuel Hybrid Air Conditioner Systems

A combined electric air source heat pump and gas furnace is considered a hybrid system. The A/C part of it works by pulling heat from the outside of your home to the inside.

Here are some strengths of dual-fuel hybrid air conditioners:

  • Money savings over time
  • Environmentally friendly

Here are some weaknesses of dual-fuel hybrid air conditioners:

  • High initial cost
  • Heating system can burn harmful fossil fuels

Smart Features for Air Conditioning Systems

A woman adjusts the AC temperature while her husband looks on

Smart features are now available on many types of air conditioners. They enable users to do things like monitor their A/C units and make adjustments remotely by using devices such as a smartphone or tablets. Smart features can help homeowners save money and be more environmentally friendly.

Here are some strengths of having smart features:

  • Can potentially enhance energy efficiency 
  • The convenience of smart functionality
  • Can benefit the environment
  • You can integrate certain smart systems with other smart home devices

Here are some weaknesses of having smart features:

  • Can be costly
  • Requires wireless functionality for maximum usability

Air Conditioning Installation Services in DFW, Texas

If all this talk about air conditioning has got you thinking about installing or fixing an air conditioning unit, Cote’s Mechanical can help. Since 2001, Cote’s Mechanical’s has been an award-winning business has been providing people in the greater Dallas Fort Worth area with exceptional HVAC service. We work with both residential and commercial HVAC systems and offer 24-hour, seven days a week, emergency service. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment or receive a free quote on a new installation.

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