9 Types of air conditioners [ The Ultimate Updated Guide ]

Choosing the right types of air conditioners for your home

I am sure you are aware of the various types of air conditioners currently being offered by the number of AC companies worldwide. 🙂

I’ve spent most of my life, working on product development and analysis, as you might know.

Being the Chief Product Officer for an AC manufacturing company has its own advantages.

One of those is certainly being able to decide upon the best suited AC depending on the specific needs one has. 

During my initial years in my profession,

I was amazed by how many varied options of AC units are available around the globe.


when I got started, there weren’t a wide selection of these machines were available in the marketplace. 

Nevertheless, with time, more innovations were made in the industry. And today, we have so many options that often situations might turn overwhelming.

To spare you the pain of selecting the perfect Air conditioner for your home, I am attempting to breakdown the different types of air conditioners.

Good to know Articles for you:-

Read till the end so that you can get the visual explanation [Infographic].

So, let’s not wait anymore and get started at the soonest. 

Types of air conditioners

Before hopping onto our discussion regarding the types of AC models available in the worldwide market, let me quickly prepare a preliminary list to point them out.

  •   Window Air Conditioners
  •   Central Air Conditioning
  •   Portable Air Conditioners
  •   Through-the-wall Air Conditioners
  •   Ductless Split System Air Conditioners
  •   Package Terminal Air Conditioners
  •   Evaporative or “Swamp” Coolers
  •   Geothermal Heating and Cooling
  •   Hybrid Air Conditioners     
5 Things to consider when shopping a new AC System
5 Things to consider when shopping a new AC System

Window Air Conditioners

In a matter of so many years that I’ve spent in the HVAC industry, the most common types of AC that most people have bought; as per my observation, is the window-mounted air conditioner.

The most lucrative characteristic of these AC units is their ability to fit into a small window in your bedroom.

Depending upon the BTU capacity, these AC units are well-capable of cooling a small space without consuming too much electricity. 

The characteristic of this particular system is that it has an internal exhaust system that allows the unit to pump out warm air out of the window.

The major drawback, as per my experience suggests, is that they are not equipped with the potential to cool your entire home.

Instead, you need to install one of these units in each of the rooms in your home that you wish to keep cool during the scorching summer months.

Now, I would disclose one of the unique benefits of installing such a type of AC unit at your home.

Depending upon your needs, you can easily uninstall the unit from one room and attach it to the window of your other room that needs some cooling.

Maybe, there are guests in your home and you have a spare AC unit waiting to be used on a fine morning. 

In those scenarios, you can simply call up your favorite HVAC service provider and ask him to get it installed in the desired room.

Let me assure you that during the freezing winter months when you don’t require any artificial cooling, you can simply detach the AC from your window and let it rest until the summer arrives.

But you know what?

These window AC units are exposed to a burglary in situations where the window is located down close to the ground level.

Therefore, I recommend you paying more attention to this point.

Read more about BTU Air Conditioner.

Central Air Conditioner

As I have seen over the years, the central air conditioners are perfect for cooling large homes with multiple rooms.

This particular system can cut down your expenses quite impressively, and would also ensure that you don’t require installing multiple AC units; given that all of your rooms require extra cooling initiatives.

In case you are wondering how these AC systems work, let me take you through the entire process briefly.

Central Air Conditional work

The central AC system is equipped with an outdoor cooling compressor, which does the main work of cooling the air inside your home.

On the other hand, a coil is attached to the system, which consists of the refrigerant. 

This refrigerant content is supplied throughout your home using an established network of duck work.

It must be noted that for uniformity in the flow of cool air across the length and breadth of your home, a fan (already placed inside the AC) usually blows the refrigerant to enable its travel through the duct.

Similarly, the warm air inside of your room is then carried back by the ducts and thrown outside of your building premises through the exhaust system. 

As an experienced products professional, it’s my duty; to make you aware of the technicalities involved in this process.

For successful installation and the functioning of the central AC systems, you need to plan extensively while there’s still time in hand. 

This is generally a lengthy process and any hurry in the process might lead to overall malfunctioning of the system in the long run.

It’s my recommendation that you call up a technician beforehand and discuss the matter with him.

Types of air conditioners [ Infographic ]

Types of air conditioners
Types of air conditioners

Portable Air Conditioners

These special types of air conditioners are similar to window AC units in terms of their compact approach.

All the important parts of the unit are stored within a single appliance, and thus the adjective ‘portable’ in its name is justified.  

I have come across many situations where a homeowner isn’t able to secure permission from the local authorities regarding the installation of the full-fledged AC systems at their home.

This is when these portable AC units come to your rescue, in case you are facing this similar issue. These portable units can be easily carried from one room to the other, as per your situation demands.

Nevertheless, there are certain regulations that you must be aware of.

In case you are asking yourself how these central Air conditioner systems work, I’ll elaborate on the process to make things easily understandable for you.

I believe the technical complexities aren’t required, especially when you have a highly experienced guide walking you through the process.

Each of these portable units has an internal condenser coil that not only cools the air inside your room but also helps in eradicating warm air out of the premises; using a massive exhaust hose.

This particular hose appears similar to a dryer vent. The system is then connected with a window kit.

Let me tell you one thing up front; the window kit should be airtight. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to feel any cooling effects inside your room.

Through-the-wall Air Conditioners

Similar to the window sets and the portable units , these kinds of AC units are also unitary; which means they have the entire system set-up within them.

The particular AC type functions in a way that it first sucks warm air from the air and exhausts the same out of the building.

In turn, the internal system allows a cool breeze to flow to your room; making your home cool in return.

If you ask me whether this particular type of AC is the perfect choice for you, let me disclose some facts regarding the through-the-wall air conditioners.

First of all, they have some advantages.

For instance, in case you don’t receive a permit for AC installation, these through-the-wall units can prove beneficial.

Or else, if you don’t have an appropriate window for getting the window-mounted AC units installed, the through-the-wall units can come in handy.

Nevertheless, there are certainly some negative aspects of using this particular AC type.

One of the most common problems that users face;

as I have seen over the years, during times of shifting people realize that it’s comparatively hard to remove these AC units, given the fact that they are permanently mounted.

Now, you might be wondering about the procedure of installing these AC units onto your wall.

For that regard, you need to first create a hole onto the wall’s surface and then you must install a sleeve into the hole.

The purpose of the sleeve is to carry the weight of the through-the-wall air conditioner. Let me disclose the reason why an external sleeve is required for mounting the AC.

Well, the wall is generally not adequately strong enough to support the weight of these bulk AC units.

Before carrying out the entire digging and installation process, I would recommend that you seek the services of an experienced professional.

Otherwise, you might face several complications regarding the strength of your wall.

Before winding up, 

let me assure you that the advantages of installing through-the-wall AC units are countless.

One of them is that you wouldn’t require eating up your room’s window space for the sake of AC installation, thus it would allow you to enjoy scenic beauty during the winter months when the AC is not required; unlike the window-mounted AC units. 

On the other hand, let me tell you that AC units; when mounted on windows leave some loose space around the corners, which leads to loss of cool air.

However, with the through-the-wall AC units, such an instance doesn’t occur because the sides of the air conditioner are sealed with air-tightness in mind.

This particular practice makes the unit more energy-efficient as compared to window-mounted ones.

HVAC Interesting Facts

HVAC Interesting Facts
HVAC Interesting Facts


Ductless Split System Air Conditioners

Now it’s time for us to get into the topic of ductless split system air conditioners.

What exactly are these units and how they work; is the common question that new AC users ask me a lot. To feed your curiosity, I will explain how they function and if it is the right option for you.

First of all, let me explain to you that as what the name suggests, these AC units have multiple parts located at different places across the building, which together work in the cooling of the room.

One of the biggest benefits of using these particular types of AC units is that they can provide different temperature balance in different rooms of the same building, which makes the product extremely convenient.

The condenser unit of the AC is situated outside of the building while the compact evaporative units are mounted on the walls.

Before winding up, 

you can install multiple units across the different rooms of your home, which are then connected using conduits that effectively carry the refrigerant and power lines necessary for the cooling of the desired spaces.

Now, you might ask about the cost-effectiveness of these units.

In that regard, let me tell you that installing these particular AC units might prove to be expensive, depending on the number of units you wish to install.

Package Terminal Air Conditioners

The Package Terminal Air Conditioners (PTAC) are suitable for commercial settings. 

If you own a restaurant or a hotel or an office, these types of AC units should be the perfect refuge you can seek.

It is evident that most people who have visited a hotel before might have noticed that the AC units in their hotel rooms are generally situated above the ground level, just below the window.

This is the visible part of the unit.

On the other hand, an exhaust system is installed outside the premises that function by pumping the warm air out of the building.

Let me tell you that apart from being used in a commercial environment, the PTAC can also be utilized in domestic settings as well. 

In terms of functionality, they work similarly to all other AC units.

For instance, they make use of refrigerant to cool the atmosphere and also the compressor allows smooth flow of cool air across the room in concern.

The reason I would recommend you to install the PTAC units at your home is because of the inexpensive nature of these systems, as compared to the central AC systems.

On the other hand, the installation costs are also on the lower side. If you ask for an expert in-sight, I would not disappoint you.

You might not know that the PTAC systems are effective in not only cooling of a room but they can also be used for the sake of heating the temperature as well.

In case you already own a central AC unit but at the same time one of your rooms get over-exposure to sunlight, you need not raise your expenses by overusing your central air conditioner.

In such situations, you can simply opt for a PTAC unit and keep your room cool.

Evaporative or “Swamp” Coolers

The evaporative AC units are often referred to as Swamp coolers.

Over the years; as I have spent my career in dealing with different AC types, I have noticed that these swamp coolers are the least common products used by people.

Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that in terms of effectiveness, they are nowhere backward than the other AC systems.

It is worth noting that the mechanism behind the functionality of these specific coolers is pretty simple.

It attracts the warm air from the room’s atmosphere and turns it into cooler air using moisture pads installed inside these units, which is then supplied to the room; leading to cooling the temperature to a large extent.

One of the distinctive features of this particular type of cooler is that they use only air and water for generating the cool breeze whereas other AC units make use of refrigerants for the purpose of cooling.

I can assure you that these types of coolers can be the perfect option for your home if you live in a hot and dry area.

This is also one of the biggest cons associated with the swamp coolers because they are not as effective in areas with higher humidity levels. 

The main function of these units is to humidify the room’s atmosphere , which is generally not required when the climate already offers too much humidity.

Now it’s time for me to talk about the most important aspect of swamp cooler usage.

As compared to other traditional types of AC, the energy consumed by these particular units are effectively less and that can save you tons of money in the form of electricity expenses. 

On the other hand, as far as environmental sustainability is concerned, swamp coolers; unlike traditions AC units, do not emit CO2 (Carbon Dioxide).

As a result, it minimizes the chances of environmental degradation.

Therefore, you can reduce your carbon footprint and work towards initiating better environmental preservation.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling

 When I was working full-fledged in the AC manufacturing industry, the geothermal heating and cooling system was not in existence.

The concept in a newer one and remarkably, it is one of the most energy-efficient techniques you can opt for.

It is an impressive feat that more people around the globe are adopting this technology for cooling or heating their homes.

You might be wondering how these systems work. 

In that regard, let me remind you about the earth’s insulation properties.

No matter what temperature exists above ground level, the temperature beneath the ground isn’t affected much. The geothermal systems make use of such a property to make your home cool or warm.

The geothermal system consists of a pipe, which is also known as the ‘earth loop. This loop ensures the flow of water within a heat pump and your home through the earth’s surface.

The water flows through this loop and keeps your home warm during the freezing winters and vice-versa.

As I have mentioned before, this environmentally sustainable source of cooling is very much effective in reducing global warming; since no fossil fuels are used in the process.

Hybrid Air Conditioners

As per the name suggests, the hybrid types of air conditioners make use of a combination of fuel, in the form of both fossil fuels as well as electricity for their functioning.

They are extremely smart devices that maintain a balance in terms of fuel usage, which in turn saves you a lot of money in the longer term.

It is relatively a new type of air conditioner.

The unique feature of these types of air conditioners is that when the summer heat is immense, the system cools your home by pumping warm air out of your home.

On the other hand, during winters, it draws warm air from the outside and distributes it across your room.

Now that I have explained to you all the possible types of popular AC systems in use in this modern world, I hope the process of choosing the right equipment has only got easier for you.

Now, out of the different types of air conditioners available in the market, you need to choose only the right one.

For that matter, you should take your priorities into consideration. Consult with an HVAC expert for a more elaborated inspection session.

HVAC Myths – Busted

HVAC Myths Busted
HVAC Myths Busted

Next time, I shall disclose some more facts about the air conditioner types and prices.

Till then, enjoy a cool summer; thanks to the brand new AC you are about to install.

What’s your main takeaway from today’s article?

Or maybe you have a question about something you read.

Either way,go ahead and leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Cheers 🙂

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1 thought on “9 Types of air conditioners [ The Ultimate Updated Guide ]”

  1. It is definitely a very comprehending and nice blog regarding how the ac service is done and maintained. I want to add on that I have been facing a Low refrigerant issue.The refrigerant is the stuff that your air conditioner uses to remove the heat and humidity from the air in your home or business.Suggest us what to add on regarding this https://handyman-dubai.com/ac-repair-dubai consequences to get ahead of this discrepancies.


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