The two most popular choices are centralized systems and window unit air conditioner heater combo installations. The latter is often preferred due to the lower unit costs but is it really the most practical?
Window Air Conditioners
These units are meant to provide cooling to small sections of the house. Sealing is important as it prevents heat from getting into the room and making the AC work harder that it should. Each room will require its own unit. Specifications might differ according to the size and needs of the particular room.
This is a good strategy if you only plan on cooling isolated parts of the house. It becomes impractical when you try to cover the whole structure using separate pieces. The cost would add up to a fortune and exceed what would have been the expense if you went with a centralized system.
Window units work best for small homes and isolated rooms. Perhaps you only require cooling in the bedroom at night or in the home office during the day. If so, then central AC is totally unnecessary and window variants are more than capable.
However, if you intend to operate multiple units for several rooms for the entire day then it would be better to switch to central cooling. Weigh your options carefully. Everyone’s needs are different so you will ultimately have to decide which is most appropriate based on your circumstances.
Central Air Conditioners
While the initial cash outlay is higher with this route, the long-term operational cost can be substantially lower with the right conditions. Houses with large floor areas will definitely benefit from a centralized setup as the system will cover every nook and cranny at all times.
There is no need to shop for dozens of separate units just to ensure complete coverage. The installation can be pricey since vents will also have to be laid out all over the structure to facilitate air flow but once this is done you will enjoy uninterrupted cooling all year long.
Try to find the most energy efficient system on the market. If you do it right, the money you save from the monthly bills will eventually exceed the installations fees.
The government also provides homeowners with incentives to go green such as tax breaks and other perks. Every model will come with an efficiency rating so compare and contrast to locate an appropriate choice.
In summary, the selection of air conditioning systems will primarily depend on the planned utilization of the homeowners. If the goal is to cool the entire house, then going for a centralized system is almost always the way to go. However, if the goal is only to make very specific areas comfortable, then window units should be more than enough for a small house.