If you are in the market for a home air conditioner, there are some questions you need to ask before you decide on the type of AC system.
1. Are You Limited By Ductwork?
If this will be the first air conditioner that you are installing in the home, you must consider the ductwork. If your home has existing ductwork, perhaps for the furnace, it must be assessed to see if it is sufficient for use with the air conditioner. You may need to have additional ducts or returns installed, and the ducts will need to be routed to the main air conditioner unit.
For homes without existing ductwork, AC can be more challenging. In some cases, you can have ductwork run through the ceiling or the crawlspace beneath the home. This will be an additional expense on top of the air conditioner unit and installation. If ductwork installation isn't an option, there are alternatives. A mini-split or ductless air conditioning system can be installed in any home. These systems consist of an outdoor condenser, which is hooked up to individual air handlers. Each air handler is capable of cooling one to two rooms.
2. Do You Need Customized Cooling?
An important question to ask yourself is whether you need to have customizable cooling zones throughout the house. A standard central air conditioner is designed to cool the entire home evenly. If you have areas of the home that are rarely used or if you have a shared household or in-home tenants, then a customizable cooling season may be necessary.
You can have central AC installed that provides zoned cooling, with each zone controlled by either a master thermostat or individual thermostats. Mini-split systems also provide a zoned AC option.
3. Will You Be Replacing the Whole HVAC System?
You may only be concerned about cooling your home right now, but will you need to replace your furnace or heating systems in the near future? If so, you may be able to increase functionality and save money by replacing the whole HVAC system at once. Consider installing a heat pump, which can both cool and heat your home, instead of both a new furnace and a new air conditioner.
Some mini-split or ductless systems are also capable of providing both heating and cooling. These are well suited to small homes or areas that can't be placed on the main heating system.
Contact a residential air condition system service for more information.