Types of Air Conditioning Units Available to Residents of Barrie, Ontario
There are several options available to residents living in Barrie, Ontario when it comes to purchasing an air conditioning unit. Several factors will determine which unit is right for you and your home. To make it easy for you to decide, see the breakdown of air conditioning units below by type and what each one offers for cooling options.
TYPES OF AIR CONDITIONING UNITS
See our full breakdown for more details on air conditioner types.
- Central air conditioning unit
- Ductless air conditioning unit
- Portable air conditioning unit
- Window air conditioning unit
HOW IT WORKS
Central Air Conditioning Unit
- Cools the air in an entire house, townhouse, or condo all at once
- Cooled air is dispersed through ductwork and floor or wall registers
- Compressor is located outside of the building and is connected by lines to the interior furnace
- Most expensive option
- Provides the best efficiency for larger or multiple spaces
- Can be monitored and/or controlled from your mobile device for more strategic use
Ductless Air Conditioning Unit
- Cools the air in the room where it is installed
- For use in spaces that do not have existing ductwork
- Handler is mounted to a wall, ceiling, or the floor
- Can have up to four handlers
- Each handler is connected through the exterior wall to an exterior compressor
- Often used in areas of a home or building that have been retrofitted
Portable Air Conditioning Unit
- Very good at cooling small spaces (typically 500-700 sq ft)
- Unit sits on the floor and can be moved from room to room (may require venting out of a window to get rid of hot air and moisture made by unit use)
- Easy and quick to set up
- Able to be stored away at the end of summer
- Can be noisy
- Good option for renters
Window Air Conditioning Unit
- Cools the air in the room where it is installed
- Unit is positioned in a window frame (options exist for all types of windows)
- Air cooling is restricted to small areas only
- Good option for apartments or renters
- Fairly easy to install
- Highly portable and can be stored away when not in use
Questions to Consider Before Purchasing an Air Conditioning Unit
1. What is the size of the area to be cooled?
Confirm the square footage of the area you are trying to cool down before looking into potential units–the area you have to cover will decide which units are correct for your needs. For most homeowners, especially if you have forced-air heating, a central air conditioner is ideal.
2. What is your budget?
Take a look at what you can reasonably afford to pay for an AC unit, keeping in mind that depending on your choice of unit, installation by an HVAC professional may be required and should be considered part of your budgeted costs.
3. Is there ductwork available?
Whether or not you have ductwork will also narrow the field of possible A/C units that you can use. Central air conditioning requires ductwork, while ductless A/C, portable A/C, and window A/C units do not require ductwork in order to run.
4. Do you own or rent your home?
While they can certainly be a good investment in your home, central air conditioners and ductless systems are more permanent solutions and so are less ideal for renters.
5. Is noise a factor?
Some AC units will be noisier than others. To ensure you won’t be unpleasantly surprised at the noise level coming from your new unit, check the noise decibel level noted by your unit’s manufacturer. Higher end central air conditioners tend to have better noise-reducing features and have the advantage of having the main unit outside.
6. Do you need to be able to regulate different temperatures in different rooms?
If the answer is YES then you are most likely looking at purchasing either a ductless, portable, or window A/C unit. These options allow you to cool the room the unit is located in, while central air conditioning works more to cool a greater area all at once, which is often ideal for families.
7. What type of warranty is provided?
At some point you will experience an issue with your air conditioning unit. It’s a good idea to understand the warranty provided by your unit’s manufacturer including: what parts and/or issues are covered, and for what length of time. In addition, ensure your HVAC contractor provides a good warranty of at least a year on labour and installation.
8. What is the unit’s energy rating?
This will matter to you when it comes time to pay for the cost of running your air conditioning unit. An AC unit’s energy rating is a number measured by its SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher this number is the more efficient your unit will run-which in turn will save you money for its operation.
Barrie homeowners should aim for a SEER rating of at least 16 or 18 for a new central A/C system.
9. Do you need the unit to be portable?
Mostly this will matter for renters. It makes more sense to purchase a portable or window air conditioning unit that can be moved and taken with you when your lease is up.
Otherwise, a central air conditioning system has advantages as far as overall comfort, quieter operation (at least from indoors), and convenience.
10. What type of maintenance is required for your unit?
Read your unit’s Use and Care Instructions that typically accompanies the Owner’s Manual (most can be found online if you are doing research before purchasing). Figure out what kind of maintenance you are looking at doing on the A/C unit. Some unit’s require filters to be replaced more often than others, while bigger units like central AC, may require service annually to ensure optimal operation. Regular maintenance and annual service isn’t necessarily mandatory, especially for a newer system, but can be a good idea to help ensure a long lifespan.