If you’re thinking about installing a new Sarasota air conditioner in 2024, you have plenty of options that go beyond traditional central air. Not sure where to start the journey? The air conditioning experts at Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air will guide you through the most popular residential air conditioners, including when to choose them and how energy efficient they are. We’ll also give you our insights on which ones we would recommend the most.

Can’t deal with the heat and are ready to install an air conditioner right away? We can help! Call Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air’s conditioning experts to discuss next steps, including financing for your AC installation in Sarasota.

Split System Central Air Conditioner

Central air conditioners are among the most popular options in Florida and the United States. They work to cycle cool air throughout your entire home with the help of return ducts and vents. They rely on a condensing coil and an evaporating coil to cool the air and expel heat with the help of refrigerant.

Split central air conditioning uses two separate units to house the condensing coil and evaporator coil. The air handler, contains the evaporator coil. Most homes in Florida typically locate the air handler in either the garage or the attic. The second unit for the condenser is located outdoors, beside the garage. Despite the unit’s split nature, you can control everything in one place, from the thermostat on the wall inside the home. Split Sarasota air conditioning systems are also common throughout single- and multi-family residences.

Energy Efficiency: A split AC system’s efficiency has improved and recently went through an update in January 2023.

Cost: You’ll pay a moderate-to-high price tag for central air when compared with other types of air conditioners. The size of your home and the unit’s energy efficiency will also have an impact on the cost. You can choose a highly energy-efficient system, but it will cost more upfront. On the upside, you’ll save more on utilities in the long-run. However, the price of a split system varies depending on the size of the unit and how energy efficient it is. If you’re interested in a split central air conditioner, Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air also offers financing options to ease your investment. Give us a call today!

If you’re interested in a split central air conditioner, Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air also offers financing options to ease your investment. Give us a call today!

Packaged Central Air Conditioner

Choosing a packaged central air conditioner means a single unit houses both your condensing and evaporating coils. You’ll usually find the unit outside the home, but it could also be installed on the roof. They rely on ducts to circulate air, much like a split central AC. They’re a great option for homes with limited indoor space. For example, if you live in a mobile home, a packaged central AC is usually the best choice for your budget.

Energy Efficiency: Packaged AC systems are not as energy efficient as central units. The minimum standard efficiency rating is also lower than in a split system. However, a small home may not need anything else.

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Cost: You’ll find that packaged units are a little less expensive than a split system. They’re also less time-consuming and require fewer resources to install in your home.

Individual AC Unit

Do you need an air conditioner to cool individual rooms or a specific area of a home? An individual AC unit is cost-effective and effective. They’re a more popular option in cooler climates, where summers are milder. Cities also see more individual AC units where apartments are smaller or outdoor space is limited to install an entire AC system.

Ductless (Mini Split) Air Conditioners

Ductless air conditioners do not use ducts like a traditional AC unit. Mini splits, another name for ductless air conditioners, have both an outdoor and an indoor unit. You hang the inside unit on a wall and install the outdoor unit on the ground. Tubes and wires connect the units through a hole in the wall. These systems keep the room cool, thanks to an inside fan. You can use a remote or smartphone app to control the temperature.

Uses: Ductless mini splits are a very popular and mainstream option. They only cool down the rooms you use the most, but they can turn on the other units when company is around or you need a boost of air. If you have a garage or shed that you enjoy working in, a mini split air conditioner is a good option. Due to their wall-mounted installation, they also conserve valuable floor space.

Energy Efficiency: Homeowners enjoy energy efficiency with ductless air conditioners. They’re less likely to waste energy and eliminate any problems with traditional HVAC ducts. No matter how well you maintain your central air, your ducts can leak up to 30% of your energy consumption.

Cost: The downside to ductless mini-split systems is that they’re more expensive than other individual AC units. On the upside, they’re usually less expensive to install and save energy in the long run.

Window Air Conditioning Unit

Window units cleverly fit snugly within an open window frame. As they operate, they channel refreshing air into the room while simultaneously expelling warm air and eliminating condensation outdoors. Installation is also straightforward, thanks to panels and brackets that securely fasten the unit to the window frame, ensuring a tight seal. Typically favored in apartments and smaller dwellings, window AC units reign supreme. While not widely adopted across Florida, urban areas boasting historic architecture often rely on these units to compensate for the logistical challenges of retrofitting older buildings with central air conditioning.

Energy Efficiency: Certain window units are energy-efficient, but improperly installing them can quickly lead to leaks.

Cost: Window units are popular across various regions due to their affordability, straightforward DIY installation process, and suitability. On the downside, they can pose safety concerns and leave your window vulnerable to break-ins or a pet or small child falling out the window.

Portable Air Conditioners

If you just need a little air in a specific room, a small portable air conditioner about the size of a mini fridge can help. You can easily move them to any room you want and vent to the outside with a wide hose that connects across an open window. Portable air conditioners come with panels attached to the window frame. These types of ACs are most commonly used where temperatures aren’t soaring all summer. They’re also a popular option for supplemental cooling needs.

Energy Efficiency: Portable air conditioners come with a similar efficiency as window units. Although more convenient, portable units are actually slightly less efficient.

Cost: Portable units are more expensive than window units and are not always as easy to install. They also pose security concerns, leaving your window vulnerable.

Through-the-Wall Air Conditioners

A through-the-wall air conditioner, like a window unit, relies on a single cabinet. The front side contains a fan and control panel, which work to cool down your home. The backside vents into your outdoor space and due to their design, the wall needs to be cut to properly install the unit. These systems aren’t as common as window units or ductless systems. But they are helpful if you dont’ have any current ductwork. You’ll most commonly find through-the-wall ACs in hotel rooms and commercial properties.

  • Energy Efficiency: Through-the-wall air conditioners aren’t as efficient as ductless air conditioners and are similar to a window unit.
  • Cost: The costs for a through-the-wall unit usually fall somewhere between a portable or mini split system.

Evaporative Cooling Systems (Swamp Coolers)

Also nicknamed “swamp coolers,”  evaporative air conditioners are either portable or whole-house systems. They’re similar to central air but don’t rely on refrigerant. Instead, the swamp cooler uses a fan to blow air across ice or a damp pad, and into your home. Apartments or mobile homes frequently feature them, and you can connect them to your home using existing air ducts. But you can make a swamp cooler with the help of a fan and ice. Unfortunately, these systems also add humidity, which can feel oppressive in Florida’s sticky heat.

  • Energy Efficiency: Evaporative cooling is energy efficient and uses about 1/4 the energy as a central AC unit. However, they do need regular monitoring and refilling to keep your home cool.
  • Cost: You can make your own inexpensive evaporative cooling systems. They’re also less expensive to install than a professional unit.

Geothermal Air Conditioners

Despite their names, geothermal systems, or heat pumps, can quickly cool down your entire home. They keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Air ducts connect them to a system of pipes that extend into the ground. Some homeowners also run their hose to a nearby stream or other water source. These air conditioners also rely on refrigerant circulating through the pipes to keep your home comfortable. Heat pumps are an energy-efficient choice that is becoming popular among homeowners.

  • Energy Efficiency: Geothermal heat pumps are among the most energy-efficient AC systems, which also drives down utility costs.
  • Cost: Geothermal options do cost more to install, but the long-term savings, tax rebates, and other financial incentives are often worth the trade-off.

What Type of Air Conditioner Should You Install?

The type of AC you install depends on the size of your home, usage, Sarasota AC repair, considerations, and budget. Central AC is the best choice for consistent, reliable comfort and strikes a balance between price and energy efficiency. A packaged AC is a good pick if you live in a small home or mobile home community. We also recommend heat pumps for their energy efficiency and tax incentives, although there is more of an upfront cost. The team at Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air doesn’t usually recommend AC window units and portable products, although they can work well if you’re renting a single room or need a quick fix.

Call Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air for AC in Sarasota & SW Florida

Ready to install a new air conditioner? Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air, your premier air conditioning company in Sarasota, FL, specializes in AC installation, replacement, repair, and maintenance. We work on all types of units and systems, including heat pumps. Contact Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air today to get started and get your home feeling cool and comfortable again.


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