There are multiple air conditioning options to keep you cool this summer in a broad range of price points, from $2,200+ for a whole house fan to central air conditioning systems that can cost several thousand more and require professional installation. The key is to try to make sure that you get the air conditioning system that will be best for your home and your cooling needs.

Which system is best for your home? This article explores the various air conditioning options available today, from the smallest and least expensive to the largest and most powerful.

Whole House Fans - Whole house fans cool by drawing cooler outside air in through your open windows which lowers the room temperature by as much as 10 to 20 degrQuietCool_Whole_House_Fanees

Your open windows serve as intake vents, which allow you to control the air flow by selecting how many or which windows you open. Moving air, blowing through the whole house cools the occupants.

The cooling breeze can lower the skin temperature by 5 to 10 degrees F. The fresh, cooler air, after passing through the living space, is forced into the attic which pushes the hot attic air out through the attic vents.

Whole house fans use a fraction of the energy consumption that a traditional air conditioner uses and are significantly quieter to operate. Paired with a proper central air conditioner, whole house fans can be a key part of a well-designed home comfort system.

Ductless Mini Split Systems – Yes, these are those systems everyone says they say in Europe or Asia. Well now they are readily available and actually quite common here in the States.

Ductless, mini split-system air-conditioners (mini splits) have numerous potential applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. The most common applications are in multifamily housing or Ductless_Mitsubishi_Mini_Splitas retrofit add-ons to houses with "non-ducted" heating systems, such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels, and space heaters (wood, kerosene, propane). They can also be a good choice for room additions and small apartments, where extending or installing distribution ductwork (for a central air-conditioner or heating systems) is not feasible. They are also great when air conditioning is only needed in one or two rooms of the house.

The main advantages of mini splits are their small size and flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms. Many models can have as many as four indoor air handling units (for four zones or rooms) connected to one outdoor unit. The number depends on how much heating or cooling is required for the building or each zone (which in turn is affected by how well the building is insulated). Each of the zones will have its own thermostat, so you only need to condition that space when it is occupied, saving energy and money.

Central Air Conditioning - Central air conditioners circulate cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and registers (i.e., openings in the walls, floors, or ceilings covered by grills) carry cooled air from the air conditioner to the home. This cooled air becomes warmer as it circulates through the home; then it flows back to the central air conditioner through return ducts and registers.

Central air conditioners are more efficient than room air conditioners. In addition, they are out of the way, quiet, and convenient to operate. If you are considering adding central air conditioning to your home, the deciding factor may be the need for ductwork.

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Today's best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid-1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.

Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air is the certified expert in home cooling and heating for Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Marin, and Morgan Hill. If your home was a little warm this weekend and you’re considering cooling options give us a call. Our home comfort advisors would be happy to meet with you, evaluate your home and person needs, and provide you with the perfect cooling system. Find out more about how our team can help you with our cooling service!