What Are The Different Types of AC?

What Are The Different Types of AC
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If you’ve recently moved and are considering new air conditioning, you’ll be surprised at the various types of AC systems now available. Let’s look at all of them to help you decide which to consider. We will also explain the benefits of Smart AC/Thermostats.

You should know about the advancements made in the air conditioning/cooling industry. With the help of our Canadian government standards, manufacturers are now doing their part to save the planet and help consumers. By building high-efficiency ACs that use green hydrocarbon refrigerants, they are helping to lower your energy bills and save the environment.


There’s a lot to know about cooling (and heating) systems, and in this blog post, we condense the information for you to understand the differences between types of AC quickly. 


At Peter Inch & Associates Heating + Air Conditioning, we are committed to helping you get the proper cooling system for your home with consideration to:

  • Your budget.
  • The cooling force needed vs energy expenditures (defined as a SEER rating). 
  • Area/space constraints.
  • Maintenance requirements.

Call us with any questions about our services at (519) 900 9960 or reach us online.


Types of AC

Let’s look at the newest types of AC systems (for our cooler climate):


Air Source Heat Pump Systems: 

The heating and cooling industry in cooler winter climates has a fairly new option for consumers. 

    • Air source heat pumps are high-efficiency, high-energy forced air systems that cool and heat a home. 
    • Its high efficiency translates to much lower utility bills, up to 15% lower.
    • Multi-split, mini-split, and centrally ducted systems air source heat pumps are available. 
    • Systems have a fail-safe component that switches to the furnace system if the temperature drops below the heat pump’s optimal working temperature. 
    • Being a high-efficiency but fairly costly to install alternative, it is advantageous to use the current “Canada Greener Homes Initiative.” It can provide up to $6,500 to replace your current furnace and air conditioning system. 
    • You can switch only the air conditioning component if your furnace is newer (and compatible with the air conditioner component). 
  • Call us for more information about this government incentive. We can explain what you need to know.
  • Expect to pay around $10,000 – $18,000 for this system. (less, with the current incentive discount)
  • See some of our heat pumps here (scroll to the bottom of the page).



Geothermal Air Conditioning Systems:

Geothermal uses the earth’s insulative properties to heat and cool your home.

  • The setup cost is significant.
  • However, the efficiency in terms of energy use is extremely high.
  • Geothermal circulates water (in pipes under the ground) through a heat pump to heat or cool your home.
  • As with an air source heat pump, a hybrid system uses a traditional heat source when the outdoor temperature drops below a certain level. This makes this system work well in our cooler winter climate.


The following are traditional cooling systems that require house ducts and room vents:

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems: 

Using your existing house ductwork, furnace and exterior AC unit, the HVAC system heats and cools the rooms of your house or building.

  • The term HVAC, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) refers to purchasing a system that includes the furnace and the air conditioner. Either component can be replaced as long as compatibility of the units exists) 
  • A homeowner uses a programmable thermostat on the home’s main level to set efficient heating and cooling.
  • The interior component is the furnace, air handler, ductwork, and thermostat.
  • The exterior component is the air conditioner, condenser and compressor.
  • Depending on the size and capacity of the heating and cooling units, the cost of these double-duty systems is, therefore, wide-ranging, between $6,000 – $20,000.


Central Air Conditioning Systems:

Central air is a split system. It uses two components in different areas, one outdoors, the other in the basement and a conduit that connects them. Central air conditioning works very well at cooling and humidifying whole houses or buildings. 

  • (If the system uses your furnace, it is a forced air system called an HVAC system.)
  • The central air conditioning system does not use the furnace as part of its framework.
  • It draws outdoor air into it and uses refrigerants to cool the air.
  • An outdoor compressor and condenser unit are connected to the indoor unit. 
  • The indoor unit (in the basement) houses the fans and evaporator coils. 
  • The home must have ducts that this system uses to blow the cooled air into rooms.
  • Typically, this system costs from $5,500 – $8,000.


Below, these types of AC systems do not require ducts or room vents:

Homes with radiators, or baseboard heaters, for example, do not have ducts or vents.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner Systems: 

(The word split always denotes two components plus a conduit that connects them.) The ductless mini-split air conditioning system has an exterior condenser, a hose system, and interior air handlers and blowers installed on the walls in different rooms.

  • Ductwork is not required; it is perfect for buildings or houses without ducts. 
  • Ductless mini-split systems are very energy-efficient.
  • You can regulate room temperatures independently since air handlers reside in one room and typically cool only that room.
  • The air handler is usually mounted near the top of the room’s walls.
  • The price ranges from $3,500 to $13,000, depending on how many rooms need air handlers.


Floor-Mounted Mini-Split Air Conditioner Systems:

These ductless mini-split systems sit on the floor instead of being mounted on a wall.

  • This works well if you live in an attic apartment or home with angled walls that cannot accommodate a wall-mounted unit.
  • It connects to the outside component through a hole in the wall and conduit.
  • A lower price than the wall-mounted version reflects the lack of wall installation.  


Portable Air Conditioners: 

Portable air conditioners are also used in houses and buildings without ducts or vents. 

  • An accordion-style dual-tubing window insert kit takes in outdoor air, cools it, and sends the unit’s warm air outdoors. 
  • The condensed air (in the form of water) must be gathered indoors and removed from the unit through a hose at the back or by emptying its water collection receptacle.
  • The cooled air is pushed into the room at varying speeds through a vent as part of the portable air conditioner.
  • The larger the air conditioner unit/more cooling capacity, the higher the price. $400 – $1,600 is typical.


Window-Mounted Air Conditioners: 

You’ll require a double or single-hung window in the room accommodating a window air conditioner. 

  • Different cooling capabilities mean this system can cool a small or large room or, depending on location, a small home.
  • This efficient all-in-one cooling system sits on a window ledge (possibly restrictive) and is the least expensive air conditioner, costing $300 – $600, depending on the cooling capacity.


Do Smart AC/ thermostats work with all types of AC?

Your smartphone can easily turn on and off and control any AC system.

  • Using a smart controller with your phone makes your cooling system more energy efficient.
  • Personalizing sleep preferences, changing the schedule from away, and setting designated times and temperatures for your cooling system are reasons people choose to buy a system with a smart aspect or add a smart controller.


At Peter Inch & Associates Heating + Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on providing the very best service and the most honest advice for you while you consider any cooling or heating products for your home. Read more about us and check out our Google reviews.



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