Types of Air Conditioning: How to Choose the Right Type of AC

Feeling the summer heat a bit too much? Ever noticed that sweat trickling down your back, even when you’re inside your living room? Your furniture might not be complaining, but we understand that an average person can find this discomforting, especially those busy adults tackling daily tasks in a heated area of their home or office. It’s interesting how much we rely on our phones for access to comfort solutions, isn’t it?

In this age of technological advancement, we have an array of air conditioning and HVAC systems equipped with benefits such as energy savings and improved seer rating. A key design component of these systems includes coils, intelligently designed to utilize wall space efficiently, helping you beat the heat in a cost-effective way.

These systems help to manage utility bills and cater to your specific needs and preferences. These systems include central ACs, also known as split systems, and many more that are the best ways to spend your money for indoor heat management. Each system comes with unique benefits and features, from the prevalent central AC systems to the versatile ductless mini-splits, and the convenient portable AC units.

We invite you to read our comprehensive guide to understanding the different types of air conditioning systems, or HVAC systems, available on the market. Explore their advantages and disadvantages, including elements of ventilation, dehumidification, air purification, and even how each system’s filter works. Also, consider factors you should take into account when choosing the one for your space, such as the number of windows and their positions.

Understanding the Different Types of Air Conditioning Systems

When it comes to cooling our homes and workplaces, particularly in hot climates like Las Vegas, various AC systems can come to our rescue offering substantial energy savings on utility bills.

These include air purifiers and dehumidifiers, which can significantly improve the comfort of an environment. We strive to help people understand that AC systems are not just about cooling, but also about improving the overall design and feel of your living or working area.

Among the different types of air conditioning systems available on the market, the most commonly used ones are the central air conditioner or split system, window air conditioner equipped with a filter, ductless mini-split air conditioner equipped with an evaporator, and portable air conditioner.

The right choice for you will depend on your unique needs, available wall space for installation, the type of furniture in the room, and the money you’re willing to invest on your energy bill.

Each air conditioner type offers specific advantages and disadvantages, making them suitable for different settings and needs. For example, the type of HVAC system and thermostat you use can significantly influence the unit’s effectiveness, efficiency and its seer rating, critical for energy savings.

Central Air Conditioner

The central air conditioner, complete with its essential HVAC components such as coils, evaporator, and condenser, is the most prevalent type of AC in homes and large commercial spaces. This split system efficiently utilizes wall space, and uses ducts to distribute cooled and purified air throughout your entire house uniformly.


The most significant advantage of this AC unit type is its ability to cool large spaces efficiently. Central air conditioners are known for their power and reach, as they can cool multiple rooms simultaneously. Moreover, they provide a uniform temperature across the whole building, which isn’t possible with other air conditioner systems.


However, central air conditioners have drawbacks. Installation can be a complex process, often requiring professional help. This makes them more expensive than other types, so it’s essential to consider this expense, along with your monthly utility bills, when evaluating the overall cost.

While these cooling solutions might work well during mild winters, they are not the most energy-efficient way if you’re hoping to cool one or two rooms simultaneously. In order to make the most of your cooling system’s lifespan, sometimes alternative solutions may be required.

Window Air Conditioner

The window air conditioner is another type, often popular among average people for many years. As the name implies, these types of window air conditioners are installed in an open window or a slot made in the wall.

They often come equipped with a built-in filter and thermostat for easy control, improved indoor air quality, and periodic repairs. The unit’s blower manages cooling based on the room’s footage.


Window air conditioners are compact and easy to install. Their effectiveness spans the entirety of your duct system, proving them to be a cost-effective and efficient way to save money, making them an attractive choice for those living in smaller homes or apartments. Plus, each unit operates independently, allowing you to cool only the rooms you are using.


The main downside to window units is that they can only cool one room at a time. Additionally, they might not be the most aesthetically pleasing option since they protrude from your window or wall. This calls for the consideration of an alternative solution, especially for larger homes with a bigger square footage.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

The ductless mini-split air conditioner, a rising star in the HVAC industry, is gaining popularity because of its efficient and versatile cooling capabilities. This type is an excellent option for people concerned about indoor air quality, as it provides both cooling and heating without requiring ductwork. It combines the functions of an air purifier, dehumidifier, and cooling unit in one system, making it an excellent alternative to the window air conditioner.


Mini-split systems are energy efficient and provide more control over the temperature in individual rooms through an easy-to-use thermostat, making them a preferred choice in homes with many windows for proper ventilation.

This means that you can cool specific areas of your home without affecting the rest – an order of refined design and control analogous to controlling heat in different areas with a floor furnace. Undoubtedly, savings on energy bills are a part of the appeal of ductless AC units.

They are also quieter than most other types of AC units, including the traditional air conditioning unit but require investing in regular repairs to ensure optimal performance throughout their lifespan.


While ductless systems are more energy-efficient, they can be more expensive upfront than window units. Like the wide range of sizes available for fans, these also come in various capacities, much like a blower, to suit different needs. Also, their installation requires a professional, similar to the controls required to run a furnace, which may add to the overall cost. However, they are a worthy part of the solution to high energy bills.

Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners are freestanding units that can be moved from one room to another, much like a portable fan. They’re often used for supplemental cooling or spaces where other air conditioning can’t be installed, such as rooms with little floor space. You just plug them into an outlet and you’re good to go. They stand as an effective alternative to the more stationary window unit and the more complex ductless system.

These air conditioners work by taking in air from the room, cooling it, and then directing it back into the room. Drawing from the ground-level air, similar to how a furnace heats a room, the unit’s compressor pumps refrigerant through the system to absorb heat and moisture from the indoor air.

Their functionality is not entirely dissimilar to a blower working in conjunction with a furnace during harsh winters. Each of these options, while differing in terms of cost, installation, and space requirement, serves the ultimate purpose of improving the indoor temperature for a conducive living environment.This heated air and moisture are then expelled out of the room through an exhaust hose that you can install in a window – a device much like a slender chimney for your modern furnaces.


The portability of these units is their main advantage, much like the range of movement offered by a floor fan. For the busy woman on the go, you can quickly move them from room to room based on your cooling needs, whatever the weather.

Moreover, well-documented articles suggest that they are easy to install and do not require significant changes to your home’s structure. This is similar to a standalone fan or heating unit you might place on the front part of your room.


However, the energy efficiency rating of portable air conditioners is mixed with arguments both for and against. They are less powerful than other types. Their capacity is on par with a small fan, and they need to be more sufficient for cooling larger rooms.

Plus, just like the roar of furnaces, they are noisy and carry a higher price quote due to being less energy-efficient than other models, like a heat pump for example. This issue is more prominent in regions with higher temperatures, where their services are most in need.

Evaporative Air Conditioner

An evaporative air conditioner, also known as a swamp cooler, is a unique air conditioner type. Akin to a high-performance device, it operates on a simple principle: hot air from the outside gets pulled into the system, passes over water-saturated pads, and then circulates cooler air throughout your space.

Notably, this type of AC also includes an air purification system, which helps remove pollutants and improve indoor air quality, functioning as a high-capacity fan does for air circulation.


One of the major benefits of evaporative air conditioners is their eco-friendly operation. Similar to the use of energy-saving products like an efficient furnace or heat pump, they use significantly less electricity than other air conditioning types, reducing your carbon footprint.

Furthermore, because they constantly draw in fresh air from the outlet rather than recirculating indoor air, they can help keep your space ventilated and reduce odors. The energy efficiency rating is typically higher for these units than for others.


Despite their advantages, evaporative air conditioners need to fit the specifics of your environment. Just as the size of a fan or heating unit needs to match the space, their performance greatly depends on the weather. In regions with high humidity, their cooling capacity can drastically decrease. Furthermore, they require regular maintenance and cleaning to prevent mold and mildew, just like the annual service appointments for furnaces, characterized by a thorough combing of filters and controls.

Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner

A through-the-wall air conditioner is similar to window AC units, but as the name suggests, it’s installed through an exterior wall of your home, much like how you might envision a floor furnace would be. The tubing runs out to the front of your property, allowing the system to vent to the location outside the building.


A significant advantage of this type of air conditioner system is its efficiency. These systems typically have higher BTUs (British Thermal Units) than window units, like the larger sizes of fans, meaning they can cool larger spaces. Additionally, they don’t take up window space, keeping your views unobstructed, similar to how a floor furnace or heat pump would. They also don’t eat up precious floor space, which is a part of their appeal.


However, installing a through-the-wall unit, like installing robust furnaces, can be complex and requires a professional. As articles on home improvement will quote, it involves creating a hole in the wall, which can be intrusive and expensive. Also, like the window units, they are designed to cool only one room – a limitation when compared to whole-home cooling services provided by central systems.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right System

As someone who is choosing among the different types of AC, careful consideration of a few key factors including weather, location, and your energy bills is imperative. In addition, understanding how these units can best cater to your specific needs, much like choosing other major appliances for your houses,

can become vital. When assessing your cooling needs, factors akin to those considered when choosing a gas furnace should be contemplated. Elements such as product efficiency, size, flexibility, controls, cost, and installation, along with the fuel source available on-site, should be accounted for. These things will ensure you choose an AC unit that truly suits your needs. Here, the inclusion of service enhancements like smartphone-enabled controllers could significantly improve accessibility and convenience.


You’re probably wondering what else to evaluate before calling in AC repair in Las Vegas or investing in new air conditioning units come spring. Accounting for the amount of wall or ceiling space you have, in addition to external temperatures, can also significantly affect the performance of these units.

Energy Consumption

Factor in the initial cost as well of purchasing and installing an AC unit. Window types of air conditioning units, such as box units, are often less costly upfront than central or split systems. However, to balance the temperatures in larger houses, you may require multiple window units or coolers, which can escalate costs. Central AC systems, despite being initially more expensive, offer long-term saving solutions due to their efficiency and capacity to cool larger areas effectively, thereby reducing overall energy costs.

Energy efficiency is another critical aspect to contemplate when examining different types of AC components. An energy-efficient air conditioner type will not only help reduce your carbon footprint but also significantly mitigate your electricity bill, making a substantial difference.

Space Requirements and Ease of Maintenance

For instance, ductless mini-split systems, one of the most optimal types of air conditioner systems, are notably efficient as they cool individual rooms directly, minimizing energy wastage. However, there are pros and cons to every system. On the other side of the coin, while central air conditioning systems are efficient for cooling entire buildings, they can lead to increased energy costs if not all rooms are occupied.

The available space and architectural layout of your home or building can limit your options when choosing among the types of air conditioning. Window units fit neatly into a window space and are suitable for cooling individual rooms. In contrast, central AC systems necessitate considerable ductwork, which may only be plausible in some structures with significant renovations.

Cooling Power

Maintenance is another service component that plays a critical role in keeping your appliances, including your AC, in optimal condition. Some AC unit types, like certain parts of split systems, require more regular maintenance than others. For instance, these systems homes air filters that must be cleaned regularly to keep the system running efficiently.

A central air conditioning system generally has a high BTU rating and is suitable for cooling large buildings. Conversely, portable or window units have lower ratings, making them perfect for smaller spaces.

Get Help with All Types of Air Conditioning Issues!

Remember that the type of AC you choose should align with your specific requirements, from budget to space and cooling needs. This guide provides an overview of different types of AC systems, each with its unique benefits and drawbacks, components, and energy costs.

Whether you’re grappling with the selection process, installation, or maintenance, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Contact our professionals who possess deep knowledge about the different types of air conditioner systems and can provide valuable advice tailored to your circumstances.

Whether you’re considering many types of window air conditioners for a small apartment, pondering a mini-split for its energy efficiency, or thinking about a central system for your office, the best advice is not to hesitate to ask for assistance.