Since their invention in 1851 by Dr. John Gorrie in Florida, air conditioning systems have come a long way. In its early days, the system used an engine and ice to keep rooms cool. As mechanical refrigeration evolved, ice was replaced with refrigerant that paved the way for modern air conditioning systems. Today, approximately 85% of homes in Florida have a central Air Conditioning system. Whether you are installing an Air Conditioning system for the first time in a newly built home or are replacing an existing system, there are several options to consider.
Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners
The ductless mini-split air conditioner is the most common type of Air Conditioning system in Florida. They are common in residential, multi-family, and commercial properties. The mini-split system has one outdoor condenser and up to 4 indoor air handling units connected with a refrigerant line. Instead of forcing air through ducts, copper pipes deliver refrigerant to air-handling units installed in each room that provides cold air or heat. Ductless mini-split air conditioning systems are energy-efficient and allow the temperature of each room to be controlled individually.
Heating and Cooling Split System
The heating and cooling split is the traditional central air and heating system that delivers conditioned air to every room in the house through a network of ducts and vents. The system is split into two different units: A compressor installed outside on a slab or the roof. A furnace for heating is installed in a garage or other space. A central thermostat manages the system to maintain the desired temperature.
Packaged Heating and Air Conditioning System
A packaged heating and air conditioning system provides cooling and heating needs in a single, compact unit that includes the compressor, condenser, and evaporator. Its compact size makes it ideal for properties with limited space such as an apartment, condo, or townhome. The packaged Air Conditioning system is typically installed on a concrete pad on the side of a home or the roof. A blower forces conditioned air through ducts to heat or cool the house. Packaged systems are energy-efficient but are more commonly installed in warmer climates like in Florida due to their limited heating capabilities. Heating options include electricity or gas.
Hybrid Split Air Conditioning Systems
A hybrid split Air Conditioning system is similar to a split system but offers homeowners the capability of switching between electric and gas heating on-demand. It contains a heat pump, furnace, and traditional ducts that force conditioned air throughout the home. The desired temperature is maintained by setting the thermostat. A hybrid split system uses a heat pump that uses outside air to regulate indoor temperatures. The heat pump cools the refrigerant on warm days and heats it on cold days. For chilly days or nights, a furnace is used to deliver heat throughout the home. The homeowner can switch the furnace from electric to gas to reduce utility costs.
Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners are the simplest and least expensive type of Air Conditioning system. The single unit contains a condenser, evaporator, fan, and thermostat mounted in a window to provide cool air or heat in the room. The window air conditioner pulls air in from the room and conditions it before releasing it back into the room. Some window air conditioners also have a heat pump. Window air conditioners are better suited for small spaces but can be noisy.