Keep your cool. Learn about various types of air conditioners for your home from this quick list.

Unless you live in Antarctica, you'll likely need to purchase an air conditioner at some point in your life. Knowing the different types of air conditioners can make buying the best one for your needs a bit easier.

Choosing an air conditioner should be a decision that's based on a number of different factors, including the size of the area that you'll need to cool, the amount of heat that's generated within your space, and your budget.

1. Central air conditioning system

The most common types of air conditioners on today's market are central air conditioning systems, or HVAC systems. This type of air conditioner is a system that's useful in cooling your entire home. This system has a large compressor that produces cool air and forces it through your home's vent system.

While expensive, central AC systems can allow you complete control of your home's temperature. Most HVAC systems are set up to cool your home during the warm months and to heat your home during the cold months.


2. Ductless AC system

For homes that aren't equipped with a vent system, a ductless AC system may be the answer to your home cooling woes. While not one of the most common types of air conditioners, a ductless system can be quite cost effective.

With this system, each room or specific area in your home has its own unit for handling forced air, and the temperature of each room can be adjusted individually.

This system is portable, which is one of its biggest advantages. If you move, you can take it with you.

Most contractors typically only recommend this type of air conditioner for applications where it isn't prudent to install ductwork and vents.


3. Window air conditioner

Another popular option for cooling the home is the window air conditioner. This type of air conditioner works to cool one room only or a very small space.

This air conditioner type houses all the air conditioning components within one box that's placed in the window of the room. The usual design for this type of unit allows the window's casement to hold it into position. A support or brace is used on the outside of the window to support some of the unit's weight.


4. Evaporative or swamp cooler

In some areas of the country, evaporative coolers are popular. This type of air conditioner is also known as a swamp cooler. It's typically used in dry climates, such as the Southwestern United States.

These units add moisture to the air while using compressed vapors to cool the air.


Points to Consider

When considering the types of air conditioners available to you and before you install an air conditioner, be sure to look at the warranty that's offered on the unit.

Air conditioner prices can vary widely by manufacturer, and when considering total cost, homeowners should keep in mind that installation of a large system might be expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars for a window air conditioner to as much as $8,000 or more for a whole-house central air conditioning system.

QualitySmith is an excellent resource for finding contractors in your area that can give you an air conditioner estimate for the installation of one of the many types of air conditioners that may suit your needs!