An Analysis of Different Types of AC Units

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Air conditioning is truly one of the wonders of the modern world. In a little less than a century, air conditioning has made some of the hottest places on the planet habitable through comfortable climate control. No longer is mankind at the whim of the weather when it comes to temperatures, as air conditioning can render the most hostile and humid climate more pleasant.

All air conditioners fulfill two purposes. They regulate the temperature thanks to refrigerant gasses and a simple mechanical process, and they remove humidity from the air to make it more comfortable. Though they are similar in purpose, there are several different types of air conditioning styles that accomplish those goals by varying means. Some of the components may remain the same among the different styles, but how those components are used may be different. Regardless of the type, they all have strengths and weaknesses. Most air conditioning units require regular AC service to function flawlessly, though some are more reliable than others. Some units are better suited to residential settings, while business demands may require another type of AC system.

If you often find yourself in need of AC system repair in Gainesville, GA, and want to purchase a new unit, make sure you understand the pros and cons of each type before making an investment. Read on to learn more about the different types of AC units on the market today.

Split System

The split system is the most common type of air conditioning system in a residential setting. You may not have heard this AC type called a split before, but you may recognize its components and their function. The term “split” is derived from the fact that the air conditioning unit itself is split between an outside unit and an inside unit. The inside unit features an evaporator coil inside that cools the internal air in your home. The other primary component is an outside unit that contains a condenser coil where the heat collected from your inside air is transferred into the outside environment and a compressor.

There is refrigerant pumped between the two units in a closed loop. When the refrigerant is in a liquid state in the evaporator, it cools the air that blows over it. As it removes heat from the air, the liquid refrigerant expands and moves outside to the condenser, where the heat is released into the ambient air and the refrigerant is condensed back from a gas to a liquid. Then, the cycle begins again. Split systems use a system of ducts to move air to all parts of the house. The benefits are that they are reliable, efficient, and powerful. However, you lack room-by-room temperature control, and there must be ducts in your house to move the air.

Heat Pump

A heat pump is very similar to a split system, only instead of cooling the air it simply removes the heat from your home during periods of warmth. It also draws heat from outside and pumps it into your house when it’s cold. They can be efficient in the right climates but struggle to perform well in routinely cold regions.

Window Units

If you just want to cool one room, a window unit may be what you need. A window unit is a plug-in unit that is placed in a window so that half of it faces inside and the other half faces outside. It works on the same principals of a split system, although all the components are in a single portable package. It takes the air from a single room, removes heat from the air and cools it, discharges the heat and moisture outside, then returns the conditioned air to the room. They aren’t efficient for cooling an entire house, but they can be used to cool small spaces easily.

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Packaged Systems

Packaged systems feature evaporators and condensers contained in the same cabinet or package. Unlike a split system that has an evaporator inside and condenser outside, the packaged unit features both components in a cabinet that resides outdoors. Air is moved into and out of the interior of the building through ducts attached to an air handler or blower. They are common in retail sites, businesses, and warehouses because they can cool a great volume of air efficiently without the excess noise of a large inside unit.


A mini-split or ductless air conditioning system works on a similar principle to the split system, but it doesn’t require ducts. Instead, there is a single outside unit containing a condenser and compressor that is connected to air handlers in each room. The air handlers are located near the ceiling on a wall, and they are connected to the outside unit via tubing that circulates refrigerant. They are easy and less expensive to install than split systems, and provide customizable zone cooling that allows you to condition only the rooms you are using.

If you’re considering a new AC unit and want to know more about your options, learn the pros and cons of the different air conditioner types in use today. By consulting with a knowledgeable air conditioning repair service you can find the perfect unit for your square footage and application. To learn more about the different types of air conditioners available in North Georgia, visit Gainesville Mechanical at

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