Different Types of Air Conditioners to Consider

Posted on: Jun 02, 2016

air conditioning unit

Now is the ideal time to shop for cooling equipment, so you can have it installed well before the temperature starts to climb. While a reputable HVAC contractor should properly size the new equipment and advise you on different efficiency options, it’s also helpful to get familiar with the different types of equipment available.

Split System Air Conditioners

These air conditioners are split into indoor and outdoor components. The indoor unit contains a blower unit and evaporator coil to draw heat and moisture from the air. The outdoor unit houses a condenser coil that releases the captured heat outside. It also contains a compressor that pumps refrigerant between the two components via copper piping. Split systems use ductwork to deliver conditioned air, and they’re often paired with a gas furnace that shares the ducting.

Split System Heat Pumps

Heat pumps cool just like an A/C in the summer, but they switch operation to heating in the winter. These units don’t burn fuel to create heat, they simply move thermal energy between the outdoors and the indoor living space. The two most common types are air-source and geothermal. Air-source units can’t draw warmth from the outdoor air when the temperature gets too cold, so a backup heat source is necessary to maintain comfort. Geothermal heat pumps are much more efficient, and since they draw warmth from the ground, they’re able to keep heating even when the outdoor temperature dips.

Ductless Mini-Splits

Mini-splits are available as either air-source heat pumps, or traditional air conditioners with electric heat. They consist of a single outdoor condenser/compressor connected to up to four wall-mounted indoor air handlers by a conduit containing the power supply, refrigerant tubing and condensate drain. Ductwork isn’t needed, as each air handler has a blower unit and is designed to cool a single room or area.

Packaged Units

These systems have the evaporator, condenser and compressor housed all in one unit that’s placed outdoors near an exterior wall or on the roof, with ducting run into the home’s interior. A packaged unit can house an air-source heat pump, or an air conditioner with electric coils or a gas furnace added to provide heating.

For expert advice about the best cooling equipment option for your Springdale area home, contact Airco Service Inc.

Our goal is to educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about efficiency and home comfort issues related to HVAC systems.