Which AC Unit is Right For Your Home?

Which AC unit is right for your home: a central air unit or a split unit air conditioner? Find out the perfect central air conditioning system with Sandium today!

Updated on Oct 22, 2023
5 min read
Which AC Unit is Right For Your Home?

Residential HVAC system costs depend greatly on the size and type of house, needs of the household, and whether the existing system requires an upgrade or not. You should speak with a professional HVAC contractor to find the best fit for your Bay Area home. This guide will help you understand the different types of HVAC systems and to find one that fits your budget and energy goals.

Types of HVAC Systems

Central Air Conditioning

These operate on a split system that makes use of ductwork for circulating air throughout the house. An outdoor compressor and condenser unit works in combination with fan-and-coil interior ductwork. Air is cooled inside the ducts with the help of refrigerant that circulates between the outdoor compressor and indoor coil. A single thermostat controls the temperature in the entire house.

Split Ductless Systems

These systems make use of an outdoor compressor and condenser. There is no ductwork in these air conditioners. The system places refrigerant tubing, power cable, and condensate drain in a narrow conduit. This conduit connects all interior wall units that blow cool air. A major benefit of split ductless systems is that the temperature in every room can be controlled individually. These are perfect for homes that cannot accommodate ductwork.

Single Stage Systems

These operate continuously for providing maximum stability and climate control. Single stage systems are the best if you want the environment inside your home to be set at a constant temperature. However, these systems use maximum energy.

Multi-Stage Systems

These systems have variable fan speeds which allow for lowering the speed and using less energy when you don’t require much air conditioning. You can shut down the AC completely when the weather is nice.

Zoned Systems

These help you save on energy bills by controlling the areas of the house that get cooled. You can block airflow to rooms that don’t require cooling. Zoned systems are helpful when you want air conditioners only where you are using it.

Humidity Control

You can install a humidifier or dehumidifier inside the HVAC unit. It can be difficult balancing humidity in a room. Humidity control can help you manage when the air is too dry or damp.

Load Calculation

The load that your system will need to bear is the first factor you should consider when selecting an HVAC unit. Load calculation of an air conditioner is based on its cooling capacity, size, maintenance requirements, and efficiency. You should understand that bigger doesn’t mean that its better. You should find a system that is appropriately sized for your house.

Factors to Consider

These are a few important factors you need to consider when thinking of purchasing a new HVAC unit.


Central air conditioner unit are available in sizes ranging from 1.5 tons to 5 tons. Larger units can cool more square footage. As a general rule, you need one ton of cooling for every 500 or 600 square feet.


BTU or British thermal unit represents the amount of energy required for raising the temperature by one degree in a pound of water. An air conditioner should have 18 BTU capacity every square foot on an average.


Higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio means your machine is more efficient. You can choose between a SEER of 13 to 24.5. 

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Take the first step towards comfortable, energy-efficient, and stress-free living by scheduling a consultation with Sandium.