Having a problem with your current cooling system? Air conditioner decide to break down on you in the middle of a heat wave? Summer is just about the worst time to have your cooling system break down on you. It’s also the time of year when it’s most likely to happen. The good news is that if you do have to replace your cooling system this summer, there are a lot of different options to choose from. Let’s go over a few of the options you have available to you, and their different advantages.
Centralized air conditioning continues to be the most popular option across the country, despite the advent of more modern technologies. This is because centralized air conditioning is quite good at what it does, and doing it fairly affordably. Many homes are already equipped to make use of centralized air conditioning systems, which makes things that much easier.
Centralized air conditioners are not the perfect cooling system for every situation, of course. There are homes where a centralized air conditioner can cause hot and cold spots to form, due to differences in insulation and sunlight exposure for each room. If this is a serious problem, perhaps it would be better to go with a different system.
A heat pump is constructed very much like a central air conditioner, with one major difference: it is able to reverse the direction that refrigerant flows through it. This enables the system to act as either an air conditioner or a heater, depending on the needs of the homeowner.
Heat pumps are very popular for this ability, as well as being more energy efficient than many traditional heating systems. This is because they don’t have to burn any fuel to generate heat. They simply absorb it from outside and vent it indoors. Centralized heat pumps do still occasionally run into the same issues as centralized air conditioners, though, namely the creation of hot and cold spots.
Ductless Mini Splits
A ductless mini split system is a heat pump, but one that doesn’t use ducts. Instead, the system makes use of air handler installed throughout the home. Each air handler conditions the room in which it is installed, and has its own thermostat. This allows each air handler to operate independently from the rest of the system.
Ductless mini splits have many advantages to offer. They allow each part of the home to have its own ideal temperature, without disrupting the climate control in the other rooms. Because ductless systems don’t rely on ducts, they also don’t have to deal with duct leaks. Duct leaks are responsible for output losses of up to 30% in centralized systems, so it’s no small thing to avoid them. Ductless systems do require a bit more construction work, though, as fewer homes are already equipped to make use of them.