2021 Guide to Knowing the Types of AC and How Much They Cost

Young asian woman switching on air conditioner while resting seated on couch in modern interior living room, holds remote climate control cooler system manage temperature at contemporary home concept

The air conditioner is one electrical appliance that is very common in many households in the United States. More than 70% of homes in the US have an air conditioner installed. Figures collected by the US Department of Energy reveals that air conditioners alone use up about 6% of the total electricity produced in the country. 

Due to global warming’s harsh effects, increasing temperatures have created a high demand for air conditioners. Different countries worldwide have experienced new humidity levels in the past few years, making air conditioners a necessity. 

Almost every household needs an air conditioner during the summer. There are various options available to customers, but one has to evaluate specific features and requirements before choosing.

Every homeowner should realize that an AC unit has a significant impact on their budget. We will help you know the right one for your home. 

There are different types of air conditioning units available in the market. Each of these air conditioner types performs distinct functions. We are going to look at five different types of air conditioner, including:

1. Portable Air Conditioner

2. Central Air Conditioner

3. Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

4. Window Air Conditioner

5. Smart Air Conditioner 

1. Portable Air conditioners 

Portable air conditioners cost between $200 and $800. They are free-standing units that are easily movable from one place to another. They do not require permanent installation, making them a very convenient option. All you need for this type of AC is a power outlet and a window to exhaust the air conditioning unit’s hot air. 

If you need an air conditioner temporarily or for a small space, this is the best option. This AC has sizes that are usable in bathrooms and kennels. However, despite its many advantages, this type of AC is not as quiet as some other options during operation. 

2. Central Air Conditioners 

This air conditioner is the most practical option if you are looking to cool multiple rooms in the house. It uses a split system that controls airflow through channels installed in your home. 

By split system, we mean that it comprises two units—indoor and outdoor. The outdoor component (compressor) consists of a coil that contains a refrigerant used in cooling your home. The indoor unit circulates the cold air throughout your home. A return system and the exhaust pipe expels the warm air.

Generally, this type of air conditioner is a costly option. It usually comes pre-installed into your house, but you could always install or replace a central AC. However, this type’s installation will cost you upwards of $10,000 because of all the work involved.

3. Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners 

This AC type is a bit similar to the central AC because it comprises two units also. However, this type is most useful when the house does not have an extensive duct system. 

The ductless air conditioner has a thermostat that can easily adjust the temperatures in different rooms. They are more efficient in energy consumption. But also are not a very pocket-friendly option (ranging between $500 and $5000 for each indoor unit), especially if you wish to install one in each room of the house. 

This air conditioner is currently the most popular big-type air conditioner in the market. This AC type’s installation cost is lower than that of central air, and they are more powerful. You will, however, need to install one for each room as one indoor unit will not be enough for the entire house.

4. Window Air Conditioners

The window air conditioner is one of the most common AC types used in different homes. All of its components are in a single box with a thermostat meter fixed in a space made in the same place the air conditioning unit sits. 

This “through-the-wall” air conditioner is usually on the window of a room, through which the exhaust system takes out warm air, thereby cooling the room through a refrigerant cooling system. This AC type is inexpensive (ranging from $100 to $800), easy to install and maintain. Although, it is not the quietest during operation. 

5. Smart Air Conditioners 

Smart Air conditioners are portable, ductless, or window air conditioners that operate using the Internet of Things (IoT). They are connected to the Wi-Fi and come with a smartphone application or software controller and regulator. 

This type of air conditioner is a relatively new technology. The prices differ (ranging from $110 to $600), depending on the model and where you buy them. They provide comfort, convenience and come with a lot of beautiful features while saving energy. However, they are a more expensive option and require Wi-Fi connectivity at all times to operate. 

The Right Air Conditioner For You 

Some people may have a hard time deciding which air conditioner is the right choice, but making the right choice does not have to be complicated. When picking an AC unit, you should consider:

  • Your budget: you must think about how much you have to spend, the overall costs of installing an AC, and other expenditures you may need to make. 
  • Your home or room size: this should be one of the first things you consider when picking an AC unit. Whatever you choose should have the capacity to cool your space aptly. Go for what you need. It is pointless getting an AC unit with more capacity than necessary. 
  • Energy Consumption: you should consider options that will be energy efficient and help decrease your utility bill. Ensure to check the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) to know the most cost-effective option. 

Your AC unit is a significant investment. Apart from regular maintenance, make sure to get professional advice and installation services, to ensure that you don’t only get your money’s worth but also get the best experience. 

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