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A Beginner's Guide: Different Types of Air Conditioners

Types of Air Conditioners
Wondering what are the different types of air conditioners that you can choose from? Here, we will tell you.
Mukulika Mukherjee
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2018
Air conditioners are classified into different types on the basis of their operating principle, shape, and portability.
Air conditioners have become such an essential part of our lives, that it is difficult to imagine the hot summers without them. With so many different types of air conditioners out there in the stores, obviously, it can be tough to choose the right one for your home.
Common Living Room
While some of them are designed to cool a single room or a small space, others can go on to provide cooling to large spaces and several rooms simultaneously.
Interestingly, it is necessary that you choose the right type of air conditioner if you want an efficient cooling solution for your room. Installing a bigger AC doesn't necessarily translate to a cooler room.
Another important point to keep in mind is the installation process. It is implied that you install an air conditioner properly. With energy-efficient models of air conditioners available, using an air conditioner no longer leads to exorbitant electricity bills, as it did in the past.
Different Types of Air Conditioners
The classification of air conditioners can be on the basis of several factors, but here, we shall classify them on the basis of how much area they can cover. This gives us four types, which are discussed here.
Portable Air Conditioners
Portable air conditioner
These are small air conditioners that provide cooling to a very small area, and one such might not be sufficient for a bigger room. They have an exhaust hose, which needs to be vented out of the room through a window. As their name suggests, these units can be shifted around the house as per the requirement, and are the least expensive.
Room Air Conditioners
Room air conditioners are designed to cool a single room or a small space. They are less expensive as compared to central air conditioning systems, and provide cooling only where required.
Depending on their size, room air conditioners can be plugged onto 115-volt or 230-volt household circuits. When installing a room air conditioner, make sure you choose one in the right size.
Room air conditioners can be further classified into 2 types - namely, window air conditioners and through-the-wall air conditioners.
★ Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioner
These air conditioners are capable of cooling an area between 300 and 1,800 square feet. They are easy to install and remove, and you can do the job yourself.
The horizontal units are meant to be installed in windows with horizontal sliding, while the vertical units can be installed on windows with vertical sliding.
★ Wall-Mounted Air Conditioners
Wall mounted air conditioner
Wall-mounted air conditioners are similar to their window counterparts, the only difference being that they are permanently installed.
Bedroom With A View
The main advantage of a through-the wall air conditioner is that it is more efficient. However, the installation process requires a professional.
Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners
These air conditioners have very high efficiency, and are relatively quieter than room air conditioners. They can be used to cool relatively larger spaces, but unlike central air conditioners, do not require a ducting system. It consists of a large condenser unit that is installed outdoors, and a compact wall-mounted blower unit that is installed indoors.
Central Air Conditioners
Central air conditioner
Most efficient of all types of air conditioners, and also the most expensive, central air conditioners maintain a constant temperature and humidity in the room, and you should always prefer this type over the others.
There are two types of central air conditioners - namely, split systems and packaged units. These systems also have a built-in furnace that provides heating during the winter months. This is the type of air conditioner used in malls, movie theaters, and large buildings.
In split system air conditioners, the condenser and the compressor are located outdoors in a metal cabinet, while the evaporator is placed indoors. However, in packaged units, all the three components, namely, the condenser, compressor, and the evaporator, are all located outdoors.
It is vital to get the right type of air conditioner for your space. With these types in mind, make appropriate inquiries with the salesman at the store, and if possible, get someone over to check your space, so that you end up with the most-suitable air conditioner for your room.