How to Choose the Correct Air Conditioning System
Digested from The New York Times
With summer here, having the right air conditioning system takes on greater importance. Here the strengths and minus of the primary options.
For much of the country, summertime is finally arriving. If you own an older apartment community with aging or inefficient HVAC system, get ready for phone calls from angry residents.
Fortunately, The New York Times’ Michelle Higgins breaks down various air conditioning options. Outside of energy efficiency, finding the right system to fit your space is the most important consideration.
“The key to comfort and savings is finding the unit that fits your space. An air-conditioner that isn’t powerful enough won’t effectively cool your home and could end up inflating your power bill,” she writes. “One that is too powerful will work too quickly, shutting off before most of the humidity has been removed, leaving your place cool but clammy.”
If an apartment is too old for central air, there are a lot more options than a bulky window unit. Ductless mini-split systems, which are mounted on the wall and operated by remote control, require an outdoor compressor and professional installation. Smart air conditioners are also an option, but Higgins warns that many of them still have glitches.
Built-in air conditioners, which sit in a wall instead of a window can also be a solid option, but Higgins says the last option should be a portable air conditioner. “Portable air-conditioners are not only more expensive, less efficient and noisier than window units, but they sit entirely inside the home, taking up valuable floor space, and use unsightly venting tubes that look as if they belong on the back of a washing machine,” she says.