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The Different Types of Air Conditioning Systems

Terminologies describing the different types of air conditioning systems can get confusing. Some of the most common include window, portable, central, split, and ductless systems. For someone not quite well-versed in this matter, picking out the right system is hard.

Any reputable air conditioning designer will recommend different types of air conditioning for varying applications. The most common ones are described below. Choosing which air conditioner is best for you depends on a variety of factors. Such factors in include the size of the room to be cooled and the amount of heat normally generated in the space of concern. An air conditioning professional will carefully consider all factors to come up with a suitable suggestion for your space.

Window Air Conditioner

This type is the most commonly used system for single rooms. In this air conditioner, a single box houses all the components, namely the condenser, evaporator, compressor, cooling coil, and expansion valve. A window air conditioner unit is fitted in a window sill or a slot in the room’s wall that is specially made for it.

This type is also referred to as a “unitary” air conditioning system. It blows out cooled air on one end (the one inside the room) and ejects heat on the other (the external end).

Split or Ductless Air Conditioner

This system is called a “split” system because it is made up of two units: one indoor and one outdoor. The former houses the evaporator and cooling fan. The latter, meanwhile, houses the compressor, expansion valve, and condenser. Split air conditioning systems provide the added convenience of not having to make a specialised slot in the room wall. Also, modern split air conditioners do not take as much space as window units.

This type is also referred to as a “packaged terminal air conditioner.” These are usually used in motels, hotels, and apartments.

Portable Air Conditioner

This is a variation of the unitary air conditioning system. This type has a mobile air conditioning system placed on the floor inside a room. It discharges exhaust heat through the exterior wall by means of a hose vent. While this type is noisier than other systems, it can cool even the most stubborn hot rooms.

Central Air Conditioning

This type is best for large buildings, hotels, movie theatres, factories, and other bigger spaces. Fitting individual units like window air conditioners in each room of a big building can get super expensive. Having a central air conditioning system is the more practical choice when it comes to applications like this.

This type of system makes use of a large compressor. Two separate packaged units are also used. The condensing unit is placed outside the establishment and contains the condensing fan, compressor, and condenser coil. The internal evaporative unit, consisting of the evaporator coil and expansion valve, is placed in the plenum of your furnace. This unifies the ductwork of your air conditioning and heating systems.


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