Although the Pacific Northwest is generally known for rainy weather, each summer there is a heat wave that throws everyone for a loop. Instead of outfitting your home with fans, that tend to just move the hot air around, an air conditioning system can be a lifesaver! There are several options available, when it comes to air conditioning units, ranging in price, square footage covered and efficiency.
Here are some pros and cons of four of the most common options available, to help you determine which is best for your home and budget:
Central Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps
Central air conditioning is the most efficient option and works well for cooling an entire home. Central air systems circulate the cool air supply equally throughout the home. If your home is outfitted with a furnace, a heat pump or straight air conditioner can be retrofitted and added to your furnace, to save you money!
- Pros: Cools entire home, connected to existing ductwork, cycles on and off to maintain a consistent indoor temperature
- Cons: Ductwork is required, the temperature cannot be adjusted for individual rooms, requires professional installation
A mini-split is a great option if your home doesn’t have a ducted heating system, such as hydronics, radiant panels, and baseboard-style heaters. Mini-splits are also a great choice for home additions or spaces where you cannot expand your current ductwork.
- Pros: Save money on updating existing ductwork or adding ductwork, heats/cools rooms individually, remote controlled, high Seasonal Energy Efficiency rating
- Cons: Multiple units needed to cool an entire home, requires professional installation
Window Air Conditioning Unit
Window units provide cooling or dual heating/cooling options. These have been around for many years, however, newer models offer more energy efficient options.
- Pros: Variety of sizes available, affordable, relatively easy installation
- Cons: Less versatility than a portable unit, uneven cooling due to lack of ducts, only cools a single room
Portable AC Unit
Portable air conditioning units are popular due to their versatility, but generally are the least energy efficient option on the market.
- Pros: Can be moved around (most units are on casters), affordable, available in both cooling or dual cooling/heating options
- Cons: Challenging to move in homes with carpet, provides cooling to a single room (~400 square feet), generally have lower energy efficiency ratings
There are many home cooling options available and it can be challenging to find the right option for your home, within the price range you are seeking. For a recommendation, call Paragon Heating and Home Comfort Solutions and we’ll help you assess your home and what option will best satisfy your needs.