Choosing a Cooling System

Choosing a system to cool your house used to be as easy as adding a couple of windows. Those days when a nice cross breeze could cool down an entire house are gone forever, or at least until global warming is stopped and with Republicans in power, well, don’t sell your canoe just yet. Choosing a cooling system for your house only begins with an air conditioner in the window. It ends, rather surprisingly, with a little thing called a heat pump.

Chillers

Chillers are the new kid on the block when it comes to cooling down your house. When you go to purchase one of these items, you may find it listed as an evaporative chiller. Or, perhaps, an evaporative cooler. Don’t fret; they’re all the same animal. Chillers are not new at all when it comes to cooling down offices, places of business and commercial properties. Chillers are also used, if not quite commonly, in houses and mansions way down deep in Dixie. You, too, can cool your house with a chiller as they are available in models supplying anywhere from 10 to 500 tons of cooling power. One especially good reason to consider cooling with a chiller is because their motors are far more efficient than air conditioning. A top quality chiller working at peak efficiency can cost as little as .5 kilowatts per ton. The method that a chiller uses to provide cool air into your home involves water flowing through evaporation and condensing tubes that are enveloped by the refrigerant. When the refrigerant warms up again, condensation turns it back into liquid in a cooling tower and the process repeats.

Heat Pump

The heat pump, as the name implies, can be used to heat your house. The name is far less successful in implicating itself as a machine used to cool your house. Even so, that’s what it can do, this dual purpose piece of equipment. A heat pump works courtesy of an outdoor coil and compressor working in tandem with a coil and fan located inside the house. When the weather turns sultry, the heat pump essentially turns into a central air conditioner. This process reverses itself when the weather turns as cold as Elphaba’s you know what. It’s summer, right? You don’t care about how the heat pump heats. A key thing to keep in mind before splurging for a heat pump is that these little dandies are most effective and efficient when they can be used both for providing hot air and cold air. That means a temperature climate where it can occasionally get very hot as well as very cold is the best location for this cooling system.

Window Air Conditioners

Anyone who lived through the days of George Wallace in the South can tell you all about window air conditioners. Until the 1970s, air conditioning for most homes meant a unit placed into the window frame. These are still good choices if you want to cool down a room or slightly larger area of the house. A window air conditioner in the living room and bedroom will do quite nicely and rather affordably in a small house or condo. Another good thing about window air conditioners is they are easier to maintain and usually cheaper to repair and they are certainly cheaper to replace than a central air conditioning unit. The perfect place to spot this kind of air conditioner is in a double hung window where an electrical outlet is quite conveniently located.

Wall Air Conditioners

Similar to a window air conditioner, the wall unit is capable of being installed through a wall. The primary advantage here is that it frees up a window that would have been obstructed by an air conditioner. The same process for cooling with copper coils of tubing is at play in a small unit place either in the window or the wall. The typical wall unit can be plugged into a standard 120 volt outlet. Check first, however, because some wall air conditioning machines require 240 volts.

Central Air Conditioners

This home cooling system is the one with the outside unit. That outside structure contains a compressor, condenser coil and fan. A system of ducts delivers cold air throughout the house that has been created by cooling indoor heat sent through a pipe system courtesy of a refrigerant out to the condenser coil. Most new homes built in warm climates will be constructed with a central air system as part of the design. The process of introducing a central system into a home currently cooled by some other system can be an extremely expensive proposition, but if you live in the home long enough it will more than pay for itself.