Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Air Conditioning Basics: Room Units Vs. Central Air Conditioning Systems

Nothing is more certain in Southwest Arizona than having to rely on air conditioning to get through the lengthy and intense summer heat. The two most reliable options for cooling, especially during the monsoon, are to use either a central cooling system or room air conditioners. Which you choose depends on the size of your home, how much of it you use during the summer, and how many people live there.

The advantages of a portable or window air conditioner include:Air Conditioning Basics: Room Units Vs. Central Air Conditioning Systems

  • Simple installation. These units blow the air directly from the unit, so no ducts are required. They either rest in a window or a hole cut into the wall to mount it.
  • Inexpensive. These units are not as costly to purchase as a central system. Their operating costs are higher, however.
  • Personal control. Each room’s temperature setting can be controlled individually, making it easier for individuals to choose their own comfort level.

The disadvantages include:

  • Noise. The noise in the room may be considerably louder than with a central system.
  • Lower efficiency. Over the years, great strides have been made in the efficiency of central air conditioning systems because they’re large enough to hold more sophisticated parts. Higher efficiency is harder to achieve in room units because they’re limited by size.

The advantages of a central system include:

  • Energy efficiency. Unless your home is very small, a central system will use less electricity than operating multiple portable air conditioners.
  • Programmable thermostats. These adjust temperatures automatically based on occupancy, day and time.
  • Humidity control. Central systems remove more humidity than room air conditioners, which is especially important during the monsoon.
  • Better indoor air quality. The air filters for central systems trap far more particles than room units.

The disadvantages of a central system include:

  • Higher initial cost. Since these are complex appliances, they cost more than individual units.
  • Ductwork. With a few exceptions, central cooling systems need a ductwork distribution system to deliver the conditioned air.

If you would like more information about your air conditioning options, please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Company. We’ve provided superior HVAC services for the Yuma area since 1952.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air conditioning basics and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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