Types of Air Conditioning Systems

types of air conditioning systems

The hot summer season of Woodland Hills, CA and surrounding San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles makes air conditioning an integral component to indoor comfort. The best type of cooling system for your home depends on your specific cooling needs. We understand that deciding on the best option for your cooling needs can be confusing. LA Construction, Heating and Air wants to provide you with information that is easy to understand to help you when making a decision. Below you will find more information about the different types of ac cooling systems.  

Central Air Conditioning System

Whole home cooling is a popular option for homes in Southern California as they are able to maintain a consistent cool temperature throughout the home. A central AC system can be controlled by use of a singled thermostat and uses a network of ducts to distribute cool air throughout each room of the home. The actual air conditioner part of your HVAC system is made up of two components. The two components working together to cool your home to a comfortable temperature are the indoor and outdoor unit. A central air conditioning system uses refrigerant to transfer heat from inside your home to outside to keep you cool and comfortable. Air conditioning refrigerant changes between liquid and gaseous state rapidly. In its liquid form it absorbs heat and transforms into a gas. As it expels the heat it returns to its liquid state, to start the cycle again. This cycle continues until the temperature reaches the setting on your thermostat. Another benefit of a central air conditioner is that it helps dehumidify the incoming air to keep you cool and comfortable in your home. There are two types of central air conditioning systems: split and package.

  • Split System: There are two separate cabinets for this type of system. The outdoor component or condenser which houses the compressor. The second cabinet is the indoor component which houses the evaporator. This type of system is a great option in homes where there is already a furnace, but does not have an air conditioner.
  • Package Units: A package unit houses both the cooling and heating component in one single cabinet ready for installation on the exterior of a home. It can be installed on a concrete slab or it can be placed on the roof of a home or business. For the cooling component, the package system includes a condenser, compressor, and an evaporator coil.  They completely eliminate the need for an indoor heat source, as they come equipped with either electric heating coils or a natural gas furnace.  A package unit also works with an interior network of ducts that connect directly to the unit. These units are a great choice when there is lack of indoor space such as small homes, motels, or other commercial buildings. This type of air conditioners is generally less costly to install because all components are in one unit and is generally less labor intensive to install. Low indoor noise is another benefit of a package ac system. However,noise should not be the only factor when deciding on what type of HVAC system to install.  Also keep in mind, that since the components of package system are all housed outdoors, they may be more susceptible to the negative effects of weather and wildlife.

Mini-Split Ductless AC

While the most common air conditioning system is most certainly a central ac, that is not the only type of cooling system available. For homes that cannot accommodate a network of ducts or whose central ac is not enough, another option is mini-split ductless system. Like a central ac system, they also have an indoor and outdoor component that work together to cool your home. Tubing which circulates refrigerant between the two, connects the indoor and outdoor units. However, a ductless mini split system uses smaller air handler units throughout your home to cool a single room or larger area perfect for room additions or garages. Each room in your home will have a separate air handler unit that cools each individual room allowing for greater individual temperature control. The air handlers can be installed directly on the wall without tearing up any walls.  Some advantages of a mini split system are a quick installation that can often  be completed in 1 day, lower electricity bills due to less energy loss through a ductwork system, higher indoor air quality, quiet operation and ease of control with a handheld remote. They can be more energy efficient, but can be more costly if you are cooling an entire house.

Heat Pump

A hybrid heat pump is similar to a split system but with a few key differences. They get their name from the way a system “pumps” heat from one place to another. Heat pumps are air conditioners, but if they come equipped with a reversing valve, they can also work in reverse to heat your home. In the summer they work like an air conditioner removing heat from indoors and moving it outside of your home. In the winter, they can extract heat from the outdoor air and condense it until its warm and comfortable indoors. These type of HVAC systems are becoming increasingly popular because they can reduce energy costs. There are two types of heat pumps air or ground. Air source heat pumps pull the heat from outdoors or release the heat from your home into the outdoors. Ground source heat humps or geothermal heat pumps use a series of underground pipes pull the heat from the ground or put heat back into the ground to cool and heat your home.

Evaporative Coolers

Another less common type of ac cooling system are evaporative coolers also known as swamp coolers. Evaporative coolers do not work well in humid climates and work best in hot dry climates such as the Southwest region of the United States. Evaporative coolers work by using only air and water. They use a fan to pull fresh outside air in and through a moist pad. This is where the air is cooled by evaporation and then circulated throughout the home. This simple process can save you money on cooling costs during the summer as it only uses electricity for the fan and is able to produce air that is up to 30 degrees. It can also cost less to install since the technology is much simpler than that of a central air conditioner. For evaporative coolers to cool your home properly and efficiently, they must be sized correctly. The cooling capacity of an evaporative cooler is measured in the fan pressure required to circulate cool air throughout your home in cfm (cubic feet per minute). A good rule of thumb to follow is divide the cubic square footage of your home by 2.

Give Us A Call Today

Staying cool and comfortable in your home during the summer heat in Woodland Hills, CA and surrounding Los Angeles County does not have to be a costly challenge. If you choose the right system for your needs you can enjoy indoor comfort all year long. At LA Construction, Heating and Air we provide AC repair services and install all major makes and models. Give us a call today at (818) 341-3406 to learn more or for a free estimate for ac replacement or ac installation. A critical component to benefit from any type of cooling system is proper installation and system sizing. Contact us today at (818) 341-3406 to see how we can help with you.

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