Types of Air Conditioners

Air conditioner

Types of Air Conditioners

An air conditioner cools by removing existing heat and moisture in the home. They can also provide supplemental heating during colder months by working in conjunction with a furnace.

The first modern air conditioning unit was invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier. Its advanced technology allowed people to enjoy summer movies at cooled theaters. The same technology powers today’s cooling systems.


A window air conditioner is a convenient way to cool a single room without affecting the energy efficiency of your Air conditioner home. These units are inexpensive, portable and simple to use. They are available at most hardware stores, department stores and online retailers. Some offer smart features such as scheduling functions and eco modes that allow you to tweak your power usage.

When shopping for a window air conditioner, be sure to choose one that matches your cooling needs, window size and budget. Then, follow the steps in your unit’s installation instructions to secure it in your window. Before you start the process, open your window and check that the frame and sash are sound. Also, check that there is no rot or damage around the sill.

Most window air conditioners will come with a kit that includes a support bracket to help minimize the chance of damage. The kit may also include accordion panels that extend out from both sides of the unit to block the excess space. The bracket and panel should be attached to the window frame using screws. Use a power drill to make pilot holes for any screws that go into wood window frames to prevent them from splitting.

If you are shopping for a window air conditioner, look for models with a high energy efficiency rating. These units can reduce your energy bill by up to $150 per month.


When you need cooling but don’t have a window to install a permanent air conditioner, a portable unit is the way to go. These models typically work by pulling in hot room air, passing it over cold coils to cool the air and then venting the warm air and moisture outside. Some units also have dehumidifying and drying functions.

Most portable units require regular maintenance like cleaning the filter and emptying a water collection tray, but some are completely self-evaporative and require no draining of collected water. Many units feature programmable settings with various fan speeds and temperature ranges, as well as sleep mode. Some have smart-home integration that can be controlled with a mobile app or voice commands from a connected speaker.

A timer is a great option to help you set a schedule for when the portable AC shuts on or off. This can be especially useful if you’re away from home for long periods of time.

Some portable units have built-in heaters, allowing them to be used throughout the year. Others have separate heating and cooling functions. The standard Btu rating of portable units has been replaced with a CEER (combined energy efficiency ratio) rating that takes into account SACC and standby power consumption to provide a more accurate reading of efficiency. Look for a CEER rating of at least 7 when shopping for portable air conditioners.


Ductless air conditioners, or mini splits as they are commonly known, offer a number of advantages over other types of AC units. They are often called upon as a cooling option for rooms in homes that don’t have ductwork, such as garages, sunrooms or bonus rooms.

Basically, these systems have indoor air handlers cooled by refrigerant and connected to an outdoor compressor via a conduit. There are several sizes of outdoor units to choose from based on how much power the system needs to cool a room. The outdoor unit also has a fan that blows the hot refrigerant into the condenser coil, where it converts to a cold liquid that will cool the air in your home.

Another feature of a ductless system is that it offers a more flexible setup. The outdoor unit can be as far as 50 feet from the indoor evaporator, which gives you flexibility when it comes to where you want the equipment to be placed in your home.

Ductless units also provide better energy efficiency than central air. They can use up to 30% less electricity Air conditioner than window or through-the-wall air conditioners. They also utilize variable-speed compressors that calibrate the flow of refrigerant to match the home’s cooling needs, eliminating the uncomfortable up-and-down temperature swings of single- or two-speed models.


Freon is a trademarked name for a type of refrigerant used in older AC units. It is a non-combustible gas that circulates inside your air conditioning unit, switching from liquid to gas and back again in order to cool the home. Freon is very safe and does not smell bad, but it can be toxic if you breathe it in large amounts. Newer AC units are designed to use different types of refrigerants.

If your AC system is making a hissing or bubbling sound, you may be low on refrigerant. A licensed HVAC technician should be called to recharge the system and repair any leaks. A licensed technician should be the only person to refill your Freon air conditioner because recharging a system without addressing the leak or malfunction will just cause it to deplete again and can void your warranty.

Depending on the size of your HVAC system, it will cost a different amount to replace the refrigerant. A standard residential air conditioner uses about 2-4 pounds of refrigerant per ton of cooling capacity.

The most common refrigerant used in old air conditioning units is R-22, but that is being phased out. Most newer systems will use R-410A or another type of hydrocarbon refrigerant without chlorine, which reduces the impact it has on the ozone layer and environment.

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