There are two basic types of air conditioners; Room air conditioners and central air conditioners. Each type of air conditioner has several different variations.
Room Air Conditioners
Window Mounted – Installed in open windows.You can get these as small as 14” wide. Installation is simple, and the box is portable. It may be hard to find the perfect size for your window though.
Wall Mounted – Installed through a hole that must be cut in the wall. This one is more efficient than the window unit because of tighter seals.
Free Standing Portable Unit – These often stand on the floor, near a window. A hose carries air inside, and out through a window. This may be an option for cooling a smaller space, but not an entire home.
Central Air Conditioners
Single Package Unit – Contains all components, and can be mounted through the wall or on a roof. This is most commonly used in commercial applications.
Split System -Consisting of an indoor component that can be wall mounted, and the outdoor component that sits on the side of your home. This is a good system for heating large areas inside your home. Each individual room will need it’s own indoor unit though.
Mini Split – Similar to the split unit, but containing more outdoor units. This type is ideal for houses with new additions as it will not require ductwork. These outdoor units have a slimmer appearance than other split-systems, but this system is not as efficient as others.
Mini Duct – The indoor part of this unit is installed in the attic, and air is distributed through pipes in partition to walls and outlets. This type of unit can be retrofitted to homes with electric/hydronic baseboard heating that have no ductwork.