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Air Conditioning Solutions to Beat the Heat This Summer

Aug 17, 2007
As many as a 50% of American homes to do not have central air conditioning. In northern and coastal areas the percentage of those without central air is often much higher. In many big coastal cities, homes and office buildings were constructed long before central air was invented. Whatever the reason for not having central air, there are five very effective and affordable ways to enjoy crisp, cool, air conditioning in your home or office to make those summer months more enjoyable. These five types of air conditioners consist of: window, through wall, portable, mini-split, and packaged terminal units.

Window Units:
When most people think of a non-central air conditioning solution, they often immediately think of a window air conditioner. Window air conditioners aren't as versatile as the newer portable air conditioners, but because they've been around since the 1930's, most people tend to think of this style as the only alternative to central air. Window air conditioners do make a big impact in cooling a home, but for those who prefer not to cover their window space or create a possible home security risk by leaving the window open, there are plenty of other options.

Through Wall Units:
This type of unit works a lot like a window unit, except that instead of being positioned in the window, they are actually mounted through a hole in the wall. These are more of a permanent fixture as opposed to rolling portable or window units that can mounted in any window. While through walls are less obtrusive than window air conditioners in terms of space, if you're renting or would rather not create a permanent hole in your outside wall, you may want to consider something less obtrusive in terms of installation.

Portable Units:
Portable units are perhaps the most versatile of all of the non-central air solutions. Portable air conditioners sit on the ground and can be moved from room to room easily depending on where you're at in the house. Many contain a condensation pan to collect excess moisture; meaning that portable air conditioners don't require ventilation though an outside wall like window air conditioners and through wall air conditioners. Portable air conditioners also help to help reduce costs by cooling only the areas where people are currently congregated. Rather than having to overcool one room in order to cool the entire house or office, portable air conditioners can simply be rolled to where they're needed at the time.

Mini Split Units:
Mini split units, also called duct-less air conditioners offer a way to centralize the air at a cost that is much lower than true central air conditioning. These types of air conditionering units must be professionally installed and have one or more units inside the home that produce cool air and one compressor that remains outside of the home. This type of machine is a wonderful low-cost alternative to central units. The downside is that is they require holes be drilled into the walls and that there be a place for a compressor outside. If you're renting or live in an apartment, portable air conditioners that don't require the home to be altered may be a more feasible option.

Packaged Terminal Units:
You've seen these cooling/heating units in hotel rooms. Packaged terminal units are large units, around 42" in width, which require installation through a wall. This type of air conditionering is extremely efficient when it comes to cooling and heating isolated areas like hotel rooms or open model apartment. The downside is the sheer mass of wall that must be removed if there is no window large enough to house it.

With window, through-wall, mini split, packaged terminal, or portable air conditionering units, there is a solution for every situation when it comes to beating the summer heat for those without central air. Each type has its pros, cons, and ideal uses, and between these five, just about everyone can find one air conditioner that is ideal for their living or working situation.
About the Author
Author is a writer for Cold Air products who specializes in renting and
selling portable air conditioners. For more information you can visit
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