Selecting the right air conditioning for your home is a lofty challenge. With a clear focus on the end goal of feeling cool and comfortable, reaching that destination is full of some unknowns.
For example, many of us are used to upgrading from a like-to-like system, but that might not always be the best choice. Perhaps your circumstances have changed and an old box air conditioner is not going to cut the mustard for a busy family.
So if you are staring down the daunting decisions involved with choosing the best air conditioning for your home and knowing how to install an air conditioning system for your home, these are the top options.
Ducted Air Conditioning
If you’re after complete home cooling, ducted air conditioning is the most efficient choice. You can easily control the temperature from one central unit. Air is transported throughout the home via hidden ductwork in the ceiling or walls, meaning you don’t have to worry about separate units.
The most convenient aspects of ducted cooling include:
- Reverse cycle heating and cooling
- Zoned controls for increased efficiency
- Quiet operation indoors
- Aesthetically pleasing installation
- Energy-efficient performance
Perhaps the only major drawback of ducted heating and cooling is installation. The external motor unit can easily be placed in a safe outdoor location, however, the ducts can be more difficult to install. Roof access is required and it can be invasive. If you live in an apartment or unit, then ducting may not be possible.
If you’re building a new home, aim to have the air conditioning installed by the builders rather than adding it farther down the track. It’s a big job that’s best done when your home is not yet polished. Look to professional installation from reputable technicians such as Jim's Air-Conditioning to ensure nothing goes wrong behind the scenes.
Split System Air Conditioning
When ceiling space is limited, or you want to minimise expenses involved with the invasive installation, split systems are a quality choice.
It’s easy to work a split system into an existing home’s layout. Outdoor units can be installed on the ground, wall-mounted, or roof-mounted. They’re narrow enough that they can work with any space requirements as long as there’s clearance allowing warm air to dispel.
The indoor unit is then installed inside, with a small hole in the wall the only serious work required to connect the two components. Multi-head split systems allow you to run several indoor units off just one external motor.
Split systems are a good choice for homes where invasive ductwork cannot be installed. The lower price range also benefits those working to a specific budget. Inverter air conditioning technology and smart home connectivity means you can enjoy the same benefits that you receive in a ducted air conditioner, it’s just the installation that is different. You’ll also have the indoor unit to look at, and not everyone wants to stare at their air conditioning all day long.
One of the cleanest and most energy-efficient cooling methods, evaporative cooling is popular right across Australia. It’s suited to mild/hot climates where humidity is low.
Evaporative cooling draws external air into the home via moist cooling pads. The air is cooled due to the evaporation process that occurs when the warm air mixes with cold water provided by your home’s plumbing.
Cooled air is then spread throughout the home, providing a naturally fresh chill. Compared to refrigerated cooling, evaporative cooling can save up to 75% on energy expenses.
As mentioned previously, evaporative air conditioning is not as well suited to northern climates found across Queensland and the Northern Territory. The humidity causes cooling pads to go mouldy, requiring frequent replacement.
However, the southeast, and even Western Australia, can provide the perfect locale for evaporative cooling. The natural, fresh air is an invigorating contrast to the dry summer air. Skin is not dried out, while you remain naturally perky and upbeat.
It is important to service and manage evaporative cooling well. The plumbing connection that provides water must be maintained. Likewise, the cooling pads will need to be replaced to ensure bacteria and mould do not build up.
Window Air Conditioners
So, your options might be limited. Perhaps you’re renting, or you can’t quite front up the full cost of a large-scale installation. A window or wall air conditioner might be best for you.
Most of us would recognise the boxy window air conditioner that sits both inside and outside a home. Everything is simple when it comes to the box air conditioner. Most can heat and cool, and it’s an all-in-one unit. The controls are pretty simple, and the performance is exactly what you expect.
They work well in small-medium sized rooms. Airflow is direct and controlled with a clear thermostat and basic controls. If you want something that can cost above or below $1000, the window air conditioner is the choice for you.
Choosing the best air conditioner for your home is not a yes or no decision. As mentioned, there are plenty of factors to consider. However, it’s always good to go with the most logical ones.
You’ll know whether ducted is best, or a multi-head split system. Your willingness to go for a full-scale installation or something less invasive will influence your choice.
Meanwhile, your budget would also influence the best air conditioner for you. A limited budget is going to direct to a window air conditioner over a ducted system, for example.
And with all of this in mind, remember that it’s best to never rush into a decision. Air conditioning is a long term investment and the best air conditioner is one that suits your home now and in the future.