You might live in a mansion, or a small studio apartment; you might want to stay cool all day long, or prefer a bit of heat sometimes. No matter what your preference, or the size of your house, anyone who lives in a region where it can get hot wants air conditioning. Overheating can make you tired, lethargic, uncomfortable, and unhealthy, so air conditioning units have been designed for anything from small rooms to skyscrapers. You’ve seen window units, noticed how small they are compared to the larger central units you’ve seen; you’ve wondered what the difference is. Good news, hypothetical reader, we’re here to tell you!
The first thing you need to know is that the principles governing both systems are the same. Air conditioning works by pumping refrigerant through a closed system, taking hot air from your home, blowing it over the refrigerant to cool it, then sending the cool air back out into your home. The difference, then, is how the systems are set up. A window unit contains all the moving parts in one compact unit; the compressor, condenser, expansion valve and evaporator are all there. This is incredibly useful for saving space, as larger units are split.
Central air conditioning, conversely, has it’s condenser unit, featuring the compressor, outside the home. The hot air is blown outside by a fan, and the refrigerant flows through a series of ducts in the home to cool it off. These units come with thermostats to monitor the temperature in your home and ensure the cold air is being distributed properly; the more thermostats you have, the more accurate the air conditioning unit can be for each room.
A small window unit seems obviously preferable to a large outdoor condenser, so why is central air conditioning so common? The first reason is that window units are quite bad at cooling your house compared to the larger central units. The fans in a window unit need to be small, and it’s refrigerant load can’t be very high, due to its size. The second important factor is the noise; central units keep their condenser units outside to reduce the amount of noise in your home, making it a more comfortable place to live.
Whether you should choose a window unit or a central unit, then, depends on the space in your home. For those of you who live in a bachelor apartment or another one or two room space, a window unit will probably suffice; it’s important to remember that most window units can only cool one room at a time, so be sure to isolate that room from rooms that aren’t being cooled to reduce how much work your unit has to do. For anyone who has a home with multiple rooms, it’s worth looking into central air conditioning. Having a window unit for each room is simply inefficient, and will take far more energy than a central unit. Our air conditioning technicians are fully licensed and insured for the installation and repair of your central unit, so get in touch!