air conditioning vs central air

Air Conditioning System Purchasing Guide for Residential and Commercial Usage

Air Conditioning System Purchasing Guide for Residential and Commercial Usage

air conditioning buying guide

Summertime temperatures are usually extreme, that's why most homes and business premises are equipped with air conditioners.

During this hot weather, you will need air conditioning to stay cool throughout the day and sleep cozy at nightfall.

Today, AC systems are more energy-efficient; hence if you are eco-conscious, you will be gratified as they will keep you cool and save you energy bill costs for years to come.

Selecting the right air conditioner for your home or business may be a difficult task. Buying an AC system requires extensive research and knowledge to ensure you get the right system at the best price.

This guide is designed to make you feel more comfortable and help you to choose your home or business's ideal AC system. Know more details at ALCO HVAC (


Different Types of Air Conditioners

There is a wide range of air conditioners to choose from, but selecting the right one depends on whichever best suits your budget, home, or business. Here are the most common residential and commercial cooling options.


Central Air conditioners

air conditioning buying guide

The most common way of cooling a home or office is with a central air conditioning unit. The unit consists of an external condenser and an evaporator coil. The external condenser sits outside your home or office and eliminates heat while the evaporator coil sits on top of your furnace and cools the air inside your home or office.

The furnace will work with the AC fan to blow cold air through your home's or office's ductwork.

When a central AC system is incorporated with the furnace system, it will take advantage of the furnace filter and ensure air throughout your home or office is cleaned efficiently.


Pros of central air conditioners

  • Utilizes air filters to eliminate dust and pollen, hence, providing cleaner air
  • Provides a constant temperature
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Comes with a programmable thermostat, which will save you money on your energy costs


Cons of central air conditioners

  • Can be costly to install


Ductless Air conditioners

air conditioning buying guide

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This type of cooling option is also known as a multi-split air conditioner and does not rely on the ductwork to distribute chilled air. This type of AC is suitable for homes and business premises that don't have the ductwork needed for a ducted AC unit.

A ductless air conditioner may have various indoor units to cool air. These units are usually installed on a floor, wall, or ceiling.

Every unit will cool air in the room or office where it is mounted, which will enable you to set varying temperatures for each room and unit.


Pros of ductless air conditioners

  • Are effective as they use a forced-air technique
  • Can be mounted on a wall or just be placed on the floor
  • Are convenient as they come with remote controls
  • Need no venting


Cons of ductless air conditioners

  • Are about 30 percent more costly than central air conditioners and twice as costly as window AC units of the same size
  • If not positioned correctly, it will cause short-cycling, which leads to high energy bills
  • Difficult to maintain the right humidity level and temperature when short cycling is a problem


Portable Air Conditioners

air conditioning buying guide

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A portable AC system can be moved from one room to another but needs venting to eliminate the system's hot moisture and air. These types of air conditioners are usually placed on the floor and remove heat using a window vent kit that they come with.


Pros of portable air conditioners

  • Efficient in spot cooling a single office or room
  • They’re a self-contained unit with one system
  • Easy and quick to install
  • Come with wheels to move from one room to another
  • Easy to store when not being used


Cons of portable air conditioners

  • Usually noisier than other types of air conditioners
  • Have the inadequate cooling capacity
  • The venting kit will take up considerable space on your floor
  • May affect the décor of a room


Window Air Conditioners

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These are small air conditioners that fit on the window frame of your home or office. These systems are mainly used to cool rooms, and liquefied moisture trickles onto the surface outside your home or office.

A window air conditioner takes warm indoor air and cools it by passing it through the evaporator coil, before puffing it back inside. The absorbed heat is then transferred to the condenser coil, where it is blown outside.


Pros of window air conditioners

  • Come in different sizes and are available for heating and cooling or cooling only
  • Are affordable
  • Relatively easy to install


Cons of window air conditioners

  • Not versatile as a portable air conditioner
  • Areas near the system will cool sooner than outlying areas since they don't have a duct system


Factors to Consider When Buying a New Air Conditioner

  • Size

Selecting the right AC unit size is essential for your home or business. This is because if the air conditioning system is the incorrect size for the square footage of your office or home, several issues will arise.

If the system is too small, it will not efficiently cool your home or office. On the other hand, if the system is too big, it will cause short cycling, making your energy bills skyrocket.


  • Efficiency

The efficiency of an AC system describes how much cooling the system undertakes for each unit of electricity used. An air conditioner's efficiency is expressed by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).

The minimum SEER requirement for air conditioners is 14. Therefore, buy an AC unit with a SEER rating of 14 and above to lower your energy expenses.


  • Load Calculation

When buying an Ac unit, load calculation is crucial. It will determine the right AC size, your home, or office needs. An air conditioning expert does this by comparing a home's thermal features with an AC unit's cooling capacity. This calculation usually considers the region's climate, size of your house or office, different appliances, roofing material, and other relevant details.


  • Maintenance

After purchasing and installing the AC unit, you should speak to an air conditioning expert regarding a maintenance plan. Annual checkups will ensure your air conditioning system operates efficiently and lasts longer.


Wrap Up

Shopping for a new AC unit is not easy, but selecting the ideal one, will ensure you get reliable and consistent comfort for a long time.

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