Pros and Cons of Different Air Conditioning Choices

Posted on: 18 May 2017


Many homes today are outfitted with central air conditioning, meaning a unit that pushes cool air through all the ductwork and vents of the home. However, if your home doesn't have ducts installed, or if you need air conditioning for an exterior workspace, garage, barn, or other such building without ducts, note the pros and cons of a few of your alternative choices. This will ensure you choose the right option for air conditioning and are happy with it for years to come.

Split system

A split system blows cool air through a front panel and not vents or ducts. It offers lots of cooling for larger spaces, but it's not something a homeowner can typically install on their own. It's also a permanent installation, so it may not be an option for apartments and rental properties. A split system also needs a vent that goes to the outside of the home, so it can be more difficult to install this system in rooms that are not connected to exterior walls, as this means more work to run the hose for the vent through the interior walls and then connect it to an outside wall.

Window air conditioners

A window air conditioner may need to be rather large to provide all the cooling you need, so it may not be a viable option for upper stories, if you cannot easily access the outside of the window and provide some type of bracing under the unit. Bay windows or casement windows may not be able to hold the unit in place, and an undersized window may be too small for the size you need to provide adequate cooling for a room. Note, too, that a window unit may not include a dehumidifier, so you may need this additional appliance to keep the space cool and comfortable. However, a window air conditioner is portable so you can use it in apartments and rental units, and take it with you when you move.

Portable air conditioner

A portable air conditioner may be able to be moved from room to room, but note that it will have a long hose that works as a vent, and the end of the hose needs to sit in a window to vent the unit outside the home. This means that you cannot necessarily use a portable air conditioner in every room of the home, as the space must have a working window to hold that vent.