Buying an air conditioner is a big decision, as it depends on numerous factors such as the area being cooled, total heat generated inside the enclosed area, etc. There are 4 types of air conditioning systems, which we will discuss in detail.
Window Air Conditioner: For single rooms, this is the most commonly used air conditioner. In this air conditioner all the components, namely the compressor, condenser, expansion valve or coil, evaporator and cooling coil are enclosed in a single box. A slot is made in the wall of the room, or generally a window sill.
Split Air Conditioner: This unit consists of two parts – the indoor and outdoor unit. The latter is fitted outside the room and houses components like the compressor, condenser and expansion valve. The indoor unit comprises the evaporator or cooling coil and cooling fan. An advantage of split air conditioners is you don’t have to create slots in the walls of a room. Moreover, these units don’t take up as much space as a window unit, and can blend in with all kinds of décor. It can be used to cool one or two rooms.
Packaged Air Conditioner: Ideally, this type of unit is suited for large spaces at your home or office, or if you wish to cool more than two rooms. There are two possible arrangements with the package unit. In the first one, all the components, namely the compressor, condenser (which can be cooled by air or water) expansion valve and evaporator are housed in a single box. The high capacity blower directs the cooler air, which flows through the ducts laid in different rooms. The compressor and condenser are housed in one casing, in the second arrangement. Compressed gas passes through individual units, consisting of the expansion valve and cooling coil situated in several rooms.
Central Air Conditioning System: This type of air conditioning is meant for cooling commercial spaces like big buildings, offices, entire hotels, gyms, movie theaters, factories etc. but if your house is overly big, then central air conditioning is the best solution as putting individual units in each room means exorbitant costs. A central air conditioning system is comprised of a huge compressor that has the capacity to produce hundreds of tons of air conditioning, thus being able to cool big halls, malls, huge spaces, galleries, and so on.
Talk to an HVAC engineer about the kind of unit that is best suited for your home or office – it will give you a better idea.