In the Decatur, Alabama area, temperatures and humidity work together to form a sticky situation each summer. To avoid this, air conditioning is a must to control both.

With more options available than ever, it may seem overwhelming to choose the right type of air conditioning. Window units, central air, and mini split systems are all options on the market, as are heat pumps (which also cool your home, using cooler temperatures taken from the ground.)

Since central air is the most common type of AC system, we’ll use that to compare to another common alternative, the window air conditioner.

Central Air: The Pros and Cons

Central air uses ducts to transfer cool air through your home, and it also removes the humidity from your home via condensing it into water droplets. Usually, central air consists of an outdoor unit while utilizing your furnace’s fan to distribute comfort through your home.

Central air will cool your entire home, which is a major benefit when such a setup is needed. Closing vents to some areas of the house may help save on cooling costs during the summer as well.

You also can let the air conditioner’s thermostat determine when to turn itself on and off, and smart thermostats can even let you program times to reduce or increase usage, which can save further on energy costs. Filters also help to remove mold, dust, and other toxins from the air before they re-enter your home.

Central air can also increase your property value by around ten percent.

However, central air conditioning has a much higher initial cost than its cousin, the window conditioner, and requires a professional to install. Therefore, they are the best choice when you’re looking to cool multiple rooms at once with a lower cost in the long run. To reap savings on your energy bill and ultimately allow your central air to pay for itself, be sure to look for an energy efficient model, which will pay for itself in just a few years.

Window Air: The Good and the Bad

Window air conditioning units are easy to install and don’t require a professional. This means that purchasing the unit is typically the only upfront cost you’ll face.

These units are good for cooling a single room or small area, or as an emergency backup in case another cooling system fails. Most windows can accept these units, making them flexible.

These portable units are heavy and can be difficult to move, however, and most are only capable of cooling small to medium sized rooms. Those with higher BTU ratings may cool larger rooms, so unless multiple units are used, only one area of a home may be comfortable during the height of summer.

Since these units install into windows, they may also pose a security risk to your home, as someone could remove the unit and use the opening to break in. They also prevent the opening of the window that it’s installed into, unless the unit is removed first.

For larger homes, window units may lead to higher electrical usage costs in the long run and will end up being more expensive than central air.

If You Have Questions

If you are unsure which type of air conditioning system is the best for you in Decatur AL, or if you are looking into central air, a heat pump, or a ductless system, be sure to contact us with any questions. We’re here to keep you and your family cool all summer long.