Once you’ve made the decision to purchase an air conditioner, you’ll need to decide which one is best suited to your needs and budget. It may also depend on your climate. It doesn’t take a lot of research, since there are basically 4 different types of air conditioner. Ducted air conditioning, split systems and window systems.
Ducted air cons
Ducted air conditioning must be the king of all types, because you can have it in every room so you are totally comfortable no matter which room you have to be in. But it costs more than the other options. However, you get more for your dollar with vents in every room. It is likely to cost more to run, since you lose coolness through the ductwork because the ceiling cavity is extremely hot, unless you pay extra for insulated ducting.
Ducted models can be evaporative or refrigerated. The former works only as a cooler, while the latter can become a heater in the winter. This saves on the expense of adding another type of heating.
Split systems also have their advantages and disadvantages. Since they don’t rely on ducting to carry the cool air, they are more efficient in cooling the room and thus, cost less to run. In fact, they are extremely economical to run and are ideal for smaller homes, flats and small offices. That said, they are only meant cool one room or area.
However, if your floor plan has another room entrance directly in line with the inside part of the unit, cool air will surely waft in there too, especially if you aim a fan from the cool room to the other one. Another advantage of split systems is that they are almost noiseless. You can actually get multi head split systems that have several outlets.
These are also only good for one small room. The advantages are that they are relatively cheap to buy, most people can install them without professional help and they can be taken out again easily, which is ideal if you are just renting and need to move. However, they are somewhat ugly and will spoil the view from the window they are in. They are also noisy.
Evaporative floor models
These are also good for tenants, as they can be taken with you when you need to move. However, they are heavy to wheel around and very noisy. You have to keep pouring water in as this is what cools the air. They don’t actually make the room all that cool, but sitting in the cool stream of air is nice on a hot day if there is no other choice. They are not madly popular because they are expensive for what you get – and of course, only do one small area in a room.