In the Valley of the Sun, we at ACE Home Services know that keeping your home cool during our hot summers always costs more than heating it during our mild winters. In general, a central air conditioning unit for a home is more efficient than room or window units.
Downside to Central Air
However, there is one downside to central air – a full-home unit will keep the entire house cool, even parts you aren’t currently using. You may not need the bedrooms to be cool during the day, and you may not care about the living room at night. Or you might have a room you aren’t using at all, such as the spare bedroom. A system which blows cold air evenly to all parts of the house can waste energy and result in uneven cooling, especially between separate floors of the home.
One solution is to have more than one air conditioning unit – normally one for each floor of the home. This allows the units to run separately and at different temperatures, as desired. In addition to saving money by not cooling areas you aren’t occupying, this can result in more even cooling, especially if your house is older. There are two obvious downsides, though, the first is initial cost, although energy savings can recoup it over time, and the second is the increase in the chance of system failure (although if one unit goes out you may be able to keep a tolerable temperature with the other, which is important during a heatwave or in particularly extreme climates like the desert of Arizona).
Upside to Central Air
Alternately, you can have a zoned system that uses two or more thermostats and dampers in the ductwork to regulate air flow to each zone – which may be a single room, a floor, or part of a floor. This also costs more than a single unit, however. Add in programmable thermostats and you can set each room of your house to a comfortable temperature for a given time of day. There are pros and cons to each kind of central air system, as well as to having central air in the first place.
Central air will always cost more and, especially in a smaller home, can cost a lot more. You are, again, often cooling areas that don’t need to be cooled. However, it will also filter your air. If you have allergies or chemical sensitivities, especially to dust, central air can make a big difference.
Contact ACE Home Services With Your Central Air Questions
If you are considering installing a central air system or upgrading to a zoned system, please contact ACE Home Services. We have a 20-year track record and don’t charge extra for weekends or holiday work, so you can schedule service when it’s convenient for you. We can advise you on exactly the right system for your home, install it and then help you with regular maintenance moving forward.