Which Air Conditioning System Should I Choose for My House?

With the higher temperatures comes a question – how efficient and capable is your current A/C, and which cooling system would be best for your home?

Air conditioning systems continue to improve overall, and even the ones that were famous for using a lot of electricity have considerably improved their efficiency.

We gathered some valuable info to help you decide which cooling system is best for your home:

Traditional Air Conditioning

  • If you already have ductwork, it may make sense to go with a traditional central air system. In most cases Conventional Central Air system can utilize existing ductwork for existing forced air heating system.
  • If you don’t like the look of the wall mounted ductless head units, Traditional central air units could be a cost effective option to condition your entire home – they are virtually invisible in the living space of your home.
  • Traditional ducted A/C systems offer excellent humidity control options with today’s variable speed fans that allow for proper dehumidification.

 Ducted Heat Pumps

  • The system cools and heats home interior
  • Low cost of operation compared to oil or electric systems
  • Keep in mind that there may be a need for electrical upgrades to install ducted heat pump, and the old duct work may affect the level of efficiency.

 Ductless Air Conditioning

  • If you’re looking for a modern and energy-efficient solution for cooling your home, ductless system may be your effective, efficient, and versatile solution.
  • Ductless is a good solution for additions, sunrooms, garages, etc. – areas that are not served by an existing central air system and cannot easily be ducted in.
  • Ductless systems are easier to zone for different cooling needs in different parts of your home – allowing you to save energy while maximizing your personal comfort. By turning the system down in areas that are not being occupied, you can save even more on your home energy bills.
  • When properly sized, Ductless systems are very efficient and comparable to, or more efficient, than traditional systems.   Advanced ductless systems have a Coefficient of Perfromance (COP) between 250 and 300 percent. (COP is the ratio of cooling or heating provided compared to the energy consumed.)
  • Ductless systems may help reduce dust in the home, as there are no ducts that need cleaning so dust, mold and other allergens in the air are removed. An added benefit is that you don’t have to buy and change filters – you just need to periodically clean the easily-accessible permeate filter in the head unit.
  • With ductless system, there are no air leaks through ductwork.
  • Ductless mini splits allow you to have total control in any room, section of the house, or your whole house. Plus, a ductless system can provide both heating and cooling for your home.
  • Ductless mini split systems are easy to install
  • Keep in mind that one wall unit will generally not serve a whole home.
  • Ductless A/C systems also offer excellent humidity control options.
  • If you don’t like the look of wall-mounted ductless head units, these systems can be installed with various other options that can make the system virtually disappear.

  White room with modern design and ductless unit installedPhoto credit:

Inverter Technology (Variable-Speed Technology)

  • Unlike regular forced-air heating and cooling system – inverter technology does not have frequent starts and stops of the equipment, during which significant amounts of energy are consumed every time the compressor turns off and on. Instead, this technology allows the compressor to operate at variable speeds, slowing down and speeding up as needed to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature and thus saving the energy.
  • Inverter Technology can be used as the primary heating and cooling solution for your home or in addition to oil or propane. Ductless systems use this type technology.

Multi Split Air Conditioners, Inverted or Heat Pumps

  • The multi-system allows a single outdoor unit to be connected to several indoor units.
  • Solves the problem of limited installation space and does not clutter the exterior of your home.
  • Solves your cooling and heating needs
  • Offers zone control, which means that you can control the temperature of each room through a single temp control. 
  • Increased efficiency, low energy consumption and a comfortable environment.

It’s important to note that not all HVAC contractors are fully trained and knowledgeable in ductless and inverter technologies, and if not properly sized or placed, the system will not run as efficiently as expected. The same is true for traditional central air systems if improperly sized and installed. 

Rely on the skilled technicians and installation teams at UGI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to help you determine which type of system to install based on your budget, environment, and home needs. We serve customers in 15 counties in South Central Pennsylvania, with offices located in the Lehigh Valley (Bethlehem, PA), Susquehanna Valley (Lancaster and Harrisburg, PA), and Berks County (Reading, PA).

Is your home ready to provide cool air now and warm, cozy air in the winter?

Make an appointment today with the leading HVAC company for all of your cooling and heating system needs in Bethlehem PA, Harrisburg PA, Lancaster PA, Reading PA.

29 Responses to Which Air Conditioning System Should I Choose for My House?

  1. Kairi Gainsborough August 3, 2016 at 2:34 am #

    I’ve never heard of a variable-speed system before. Are they common? It seems like maintaining a constant temperature would be a great way to save energy. My husband and I have been dealing with an old heating and air conditioning unit in our house, and it really uses a lot of energy during the winter and summer months. Maybe it is time to upgrade to something that uses new technology.

  2. Maggie Allen August 29, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

    My house already has ductwork, so it sounds like I should stick with a conventional air conditioning system. That’s definitely alright with me since I live in a pretty humid area as well. When I have a chance, I’ll definitely start looking for a good traditional model that also fits the size of my home.

  3. Gregory Willard September 12, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    I had no idea that there were so many different solutions to air conditioning. I really like the sound of the ductless system, because it is energy efficient. We have been trying to find different ways to save money, and we might just have to try that one out.

  4. Jenna Hunter December 20, 2016 at 1:54 am #

    I’ll keep in mind that there may be a need for electrical upgrades to install ducted heat pump. We live in a cabin up in the mountains and heat is really important to us! We have a newborn and want to keep her as warm and as healthy as possible! We will be sure to look into this for our newborn’s sake!

  5. Shad Morris December 20, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    We have been thinking about getting a new AC system for our house, but wasn’t sure how to choose a good one. I really like that you say that traditional methods actually allow for excellent control of humidity. Since we hate humidity in my house, it would be nice to control that.

  6. Scott January 13, 2017 at 6:35 pm #

    I didn’t realize that ductless air conditioning makes it easier to cool different areas of the house, which can help save energy. I can see why this would be a good way to ensure you are saving as much money as possible. I am wanting to upgrade the AC in my house, but am unsure of what would be best. I’ll have to bring in a professional to come look at my house and consult with me.

  7. Abi January 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

    There are so many great tips here, thanks for sharing!!

  8. Frank Delaware February 6, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

    We have been thinking about getting a new AC system before the spring, but weren’t sure how to choose a good one. It’s interesting that you say to choose a traditional if you already have ducts installed. Since we do have ducts in our house already, it would be nice to make sure that we choose something that will give us the same efficiency as our old one.

  9. Bernard Clyde March 27, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

    I appreciate you explaining the different kind of air conditioning units you can have installed and what strengths they have. It’s important, I think, that you find a reliable company that can get the installation of your unit done correctly. Plus, if you work with a good installation company, you may be able to rely on them later when you need to get maintenance or repairs done on your air conditioning unit.

  10. Jenna Hunter April 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

    It was phenomenal to know from the text that ductless is a good solution for additions, sunrooms, garages. My living room hasn’t been getting the right airflow for weeks and every time we have visitors over they sweat. I will be sure to keep that option in mind to increase the air quality to keep people cool!

  11. John April 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

    It’s amazing to me that there are so many different types of air conditioning systems that can be installed in a home! Based off what the article says, a conventional air system could be used since my home already has ductwork. Would you suggest speaking with a qualified HVAC technician prior to making a decision just in cases?

    • Angela Delong May 2, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

      You certainly want to speak to a qualified HVAC contractor before making these decisions. They can help you to properly measure, find potential problem areas, and properly plan to address all of your indoor climate concerns.

  12. Ridley Fitzgerald April 28, 2017 at 12:29 am #

    Thanks for the information about these AC units. I like the idea of getting a traditional central unit, since it’s out of sight. I don’t want a big old AC unit sitting on my wall, or something.

    • Angela Delong May 2, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

      Different people and different house holds have different concerns and different taste for aesthetics, so it is great to have many options for your home HVAC systems. While some people do prefer a traditional AC system, often times if they do not have duct work, the ductless option may be nicer than have to retrofit duct work into the home. There are also other options than a wall-mounted units, such as floor units and recessed wall and ceiling options. For these reasons, it’s best to speak with a qualified HVAC contractor to discuss all of your options.

  13. Frank Archer May 3, 2017 at 10:57 am #

    Really an amazing guide. Very valuable content. Thank you very much for sharing..

  14. Chris Winters May 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

    Angela, I can definitely see how ducted heat pumps would be important elements in any air conditioner. Our house tends to get extremely warm throughout the summer. Our AC unit has started to make some strange noises and I’m worried about permanent damage so I think that I should have it replaced before the heat wave arrives.

  15. Kyle Winters June 14, 2017 at 10:37 pm #

    Wow, I had no idea that there were so many different options available when choosing an air conditioning unit for your home. I can definitely see why some types of units might be better suited for some homes over others. For example, a ductless air conditioner might be better suited for a smaller home where air doesn’t have to travel far.

  16. LNWeaver July 4, 2017 at 12:09 am #

    I didn’t know central air could often use existing duct work. I guess that makes it important to take care of your ducts. It’s important to get a contractor to make sure things like that are running well a couple times a year.

  17. Max July 10, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    My wife and I have been looking for someone to come out and do our air conditioning installation for our new home, and I’ve been trying to decide between traditional or ductless. I’m glad that you talked about ductless air conditioning installation being a good way to have an energy efficient system. I’m going to have to talk to my wife and see what she thinks about having our air conditioning installation done, and what type of system she things we should go with! Thanks for the information!

  18. Harper Campbell August 4, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    Something that I never noticed is how when it comes to choosing an air conditioning unit, that there are a lot of different things to take into consideration to choose the right one. I like the idea of getting one that will be able to serve both our cooling and heating needs no matter the season. It will be nice to not have to spend money on two different units, when one can do both.

  19. Zidane Shepard September 18, 2017 at 10:00 pm #

    Thank you for your insight into the different types of cooling systems. I especially appreciate your insight into traditional air conditioning systems. I do have existing ductwork, so a central air unit does seem to fit for my situation. I will take all of this in mind as I made a decision!

  20. Callum Palmer April 16, 2018 at 10:54 pm #

    There really are a lot of factors to take into consideration when choosing air conditioning. I really like that your article lays down a ton of the basics like choosing between ducted and ductless air conditioning. After all, that choice really depends on the type of home you have, so you need to take that into consideration as well.

  21. Sam Li December 4, 2018 at 8:25 pm #

    I love what you said about ductless air conditioning and how these systems are easier to zone throughout a home. Installing an air conditioner is important in order to make your home or workspace a comfortable environment. If I were to buy a new A/C unit, I would make sure to locate the best supplier in my area to give me the best results.

  22. Ellie Davis December 27, 2018 at 11:05 pm #

    My husband and I are needing to get our heating system replaced and want to make sure we get the best system for us. Thank you for suggesting that we should get a unit that is both heating and AC. I’ll have to keep this in mind as I search for the best HVAC contractor in our area.

  23. Taylor Bishop June 13, 2019 at 3:39 pm #

    I wanted to thank you for helping me learn about different air conditioning systems. It’s good to know that ducted heat pumps actually can cool and heat the interior of a home. I’m interested to learn if this is ideal for smaller homes so that there aren’t too many pumps installed.

  24. Congressional HVAC June 19, 2019 at 12:14 am #

    Well explained different types of air conditioning system. This will help me a lot since me and my wife were planning to buy new airconditioning system later this year. Thank you.

  25. Eli Richardson August 20, 2019 at 8:48 pm #

    Thanks for providing the different kinds of air conditioning units and their strength that can be installed. From my point of view, it is important to find a reliable company that can get the installation done correctly. We will consider the advice you have provided for whenever we replace our A/C unit.

  26. Michaela Hemsley September 13, 2019 at 7:06 pm #

    My sister thinks that she might need to get a new air conditioner installed because the one she has right now isn’t big enough for her house so she’s trying to find the right one to get. Thanks for mentioning that a traditional ducted system can be good because it can give you better options for humidity control. Since that’s something that is important to my sister I’ll ahve to make sure that she talks to an AC professional about getting a traditional system installed so that she can be more comfortable and so that her house can be cooler.

  27. Rebecca Gardner April 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm #

    THanks for explaining that the most current ducted air conditioners have modern options that allow for advanced humidity control. My husband and I like the idea of having a new air conditioner installed to ensure we’ll be comfortable when the weather gets hot this summer. I’m glad I read your article so I can thoroughly ask about our options when choosing which AC system we want to have installed!

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