It may not look like it now with the cold snap we just had, but summer is coming, and so is the heat. While we may have our heaters on now, when the warm weather comes, we’ll be ready for the snow to come back. That is of course only for those of us who aren’t getting ready to install or repair our Air Conditioners before it gets too warm out.

In a previous entry, we discussed how to do a few basic repairs to our own air conditioning systems that are already in place, but if you’re thinking about buying new and getting started, you’ll be glad to know that the price of a central air conditioning has been on the decline for the last few years now. There are also several other options to keep you cool this summer:

Through the Wall Air Conditioners

Through the wall ACs are exactly what they sound like – AC units that fit through the wall. Much like window ACs, they are single units that exhaust heat and humidity from the room outside. The unit brings in fresh air from outside and cools it through coils, which releases cool air into the room. These units are generally designed to cool a single room but can be sufficient cooling for a condo, townhome, or individual apartments. However, in order to use these units, you have to cut a hole into your wall and insert a heavy sleeve that is sturdy enough to support the unit. These are great for rooms with a single window or no windows, especially for people who don’t want to lose the use of their windows.

Make sure you measure your walls accurately and take account of any wall studs and the thickness of the walls. Using these measurements will help you choose a unit that fits.

Window Air Conditioners

Just like through the wall air conditioners, window ACs work the same, but they fit in a window instead of a wall, which makes it much easier on homeowners and for people who rent. These ACs don’t require much for installation and normally you can do it yourself. These are awesome and energy efficient if you’re cooling one or two rooms or a small apartment. Most of them are also quiet, although they can be louder than other ACs because everything happens in one unit. They can also obstruct part of your window, making it not usable for fresh air. During the winter you will also need to take it down or winterize it.

Make sure you measure your windows and take account of the type of window and how it opens, that way you can purchase the right size.    

Portable Air Conditioners

Unlike Window Air Conditioning systems and through the wall systems, portable air conditioners don’t require a lot of installation. Portable air conditioners are more flexible than any other type of air conditioner because they are both compact and easily movable. Most portable air conditioners are equipped with wheels and stand between 2 to 4 feet tall. Unlike the others, portable ACs collect condensation in a bucket or recycle it through the air. While easy to move, they do require to be vented outside. Typically a hose attaches to the unit and vents through a window, sliding door, wall, or ceiling.

These are great for versatility, as they can be moved from room to room as needed. The venting options are also much more flexible than the prior. However, these condensation buckets will need to be drained regularly to work properly, which can get annoying.

Central/ Split Air Conditioners

Central air conditioning systems are very common in areas that are warm most of the year. These units are big systems that provide heating and cooling to your home through a central ducting system that runs through your home. A central air-conditioning system utilizes two main parts. The first is the condenser unit, which is the bulky part that is typically located in your back or side yard. A second component is an evaporator unit which is usually mounted on the furnace or the air handler.

These two parts work together to remove the heated air from the inside of your home by using refrigeration technology. The air handler then blows the chilled and dehumidified air through your ducts and into specific rooms of the home.

These units are great if you want a consistent temperature in your home year-round as well as filtered air and the possibility of a heating and cooling combo. However, these systems are somewhat expensive to set up and require adding ducting to your home. They can also raise your energy bills, but they’re worth it in the long run.