When it comes to choosing an air conditioning unit for your home, there are several options to consider. From central air conditioner units to portable AC units and ductless air conditioners, it’s important to think about the different features, benefits, and price points before making your decision.

If you’re thinking about installing air conditioning in your home this spring, read on to learn more about the three main types of home air conditioners.

Types of Air Conditioners

Central Air Conditioners

This is the most common type of whole-home cooling system, which uses the same duct system as your furnace to distribute cooled air throughout your house. The main components of central air include a condenser unit which sits outdoors, as well as an evaporator coil (or commonly called an “A” coil) inside on top of the furnace.


  • A single system that can cool your entire home
  • Single installation cost and minimal maintenance costs
  • Several Lennox® central AC units are very efficient—some with a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) as high as 26


  • Can sometimes produce uneven temperatures throughout your home especially in multi-level homes or houses with older ducting systems
  • Unable to adjust temperatures in different rooms or floors of the house (unless you have separate ductwork for different floors)
  • Additions or rooms not connected to the existing ductwork will not be cooled

Price: $$$-$$$$

Room Air Conditioners

Single-room AC units are typically either portable units you can move from room to room or window AC units, which are installed in the window of a room.


  • Room AC units are the least expensive home cooling option and use less energy than central units
  • Some units can be adjusted by remote control and can be scheduled to turn on/off using a timer
  • Very easy to install and, in the case of portable units, can be moved to different rooms of your home (provided there is a window for the exhaust hose)
  • Don’t require ductwork


  • Less effective home cooling option as it only cools one room at a time with a limited cooling output due to its small size
  • Not as portable as you might think—the exhaust hose must be connected to a window at all times and many portable units are quite large and heavy
  • Need space to store unit(s) when not in use
  • May not fit every style of window

Price: $

Ductless Air Conditioners (Mini-Split Systems)

As the name implies, ductless air conditioners cool individual spaces within your home, but do not require ductwork. Similar to central AC, mini-splits use an outside condenser, but each room or zone has its own indoor air handler. Each wall or ceiling-mounted unit is connected to the outdoor unit via a conduit carrying the power and refrigerant lines.

Major design improvements in mini-split AC systems have greatly increased their effectiveness and efficiency, boosting their popularity in recent years.


  • Flexible climate control in each room or zone
  • No risk of air leakage due to aging or faulty ductwork means greater cooling efficiency and less energy consumption
  • Maximize efficiency by only cooling rooms or zones as needed, rather than the whole home
  • Can be used in any home or space that does not have a central ducting system


  • Higher upfront costs per unit, as well as installation costs

Price: $$$$

Get the Right Air Conditioner for Your Home

There are some excellent home air conditioning options available to help beat the heat this summer. As always, First Call’s HVAC experts are available to answer any questions you have and can arrange a free quote.

And don’t wait until the heatwave has you sleepless and sweaty before giving us a call! Not only will you transition comfortably into the warmer temperatures, but we also have some great promotions and financing options available right now. Contact us online or give us a call at 780-464-3337 to learn more about deals on AC installation.

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