We’re very fortunate in our area of the U.S. that we don’t typically need to worry too much about soaring temperatures making it unbearable to be in our homes without a functioning air conditioner. Still though, cooling systems are vital to our overall comfort in the summer months. If yours broke down last year, or was showing signs of wear, you may be considering the purchase of a new one this year.
If so, you have a number of considerations to make. First off, while you may find that simply upgrading to a newer version of your current model is all you need, in many cases it may actually serve you better to consider a whole different system type. For instance, just because you have a traditional central system in place now, doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from ductless cooling. Read on to learn more about your options.
Central air conditioning systems are still seen in many homes throughout our area, and for good reason. Today’s models are highly energy efficient, and are long lasting too. So long as they are professionally installed and routinely maintained, you can count on them to last a decade or even longer.
The limitation, or possible obstacle, with this installation is damaged ductwork. If there are any holes or tears in your ductwork, then conditioned air could be escaping from them. This means your air conditioner has no chance of working as efficiently as possible. That doesn’t mean outright that you should look into other cooling system options. But it does mean you should consider getting ductwork repairs if you plan on using a system that needs those air ducts.
A heat pump system is similar to a central air conditioner in setup and operation. In the summertime, like the central AC, it removes hot air from your home, and through a refrigerant process it brings cool air into your home, while expelling the hot air outside.
What makes a heat pump system different is its dual ability—it can provide effective cooling in the summer but also provide efficient heating in the winter. These types of systems are ideal for our climate, where winters are comparatively mild and summer temps can rise drastically compared to the rest of the year.
You might have heard that geothermal systems can only be installed during new home construction. This is only partly true. Yes, it’s typically more convenient to have a geothermal system installed during the time your home is being constructed or you’re going through a massive remodel of your home or yard. This is because installing a geothermal system involves burying loops beneath the ground, where they can utilize the steady temperature of the earth to cool and heat your home.
It’s not impossible, however, to retrofit an existing home with a geothermal system. The best way to find out what your options are is to ask!
Ductless systems operate on heat pump technology. That means like heat pumps, they provide heating and cooling. What makes them different, though, and as the name implies—they don’t require ductwork to operate. Rather, an outdoor unit is connected to up to four indoor air handlers, each installed in the various rooms or sections where you’d like them in your home.