Consider These Issues When Choosing An Air Conditioner

If you need a new air conditioner (AC), the first decision you have to make is which type of AC to get. The common varieties include:

  • Central ACs
  • Window ACs
  • Portable ACs
  • Ductless AC

Below are the critical considerations that will help you make the right choice.

Number of Rooms

Some ACs can only cool a few rooms while others cool multiple rooms. For example, a portable or window AC can only cool one room at a time. Say you are subletting a room without air conditioning. You can get a window or portable AC for the room. On the other hand, you have to go for a central or a ductless AC if you need to cool multiple rooms.

Duct Status

Central ACs require duct systems for air circulation. According to, the average cost of installing ductwork is $2,000. For a house without existing ductwork, you can either choose an AC that doesn't need ductwork or spend thousands of dollars to install the ductwork. A portable, ductless, or window AC doesn't require ductwork, but a central AC requires it.

Home Ownership Status

The type of AC you can install also depends on whether you have the legal right to modify the property. If you own the property, then you can install any type of AC. If you can't modify the home, then you can't install a central AC if the property's owner didn't design the property for one. Installing a central AC requires heavy modification, chiefly due to the ductwork requirement.

With a rental house, the ideal scenario is to use a portable AC that doesn't require any modification. Depending on your landlord's temperament, you might also get away with a window or ductless AC since they only require minimal modifications.


Lastly, the budget you have allocated for the AC also determines the type you can get. Portable and window ACs are some of the cheapest, averaging less than $1,000. Ductless systems sit in the middle of the pack with an average of $1700 – $5,000. Finally, central ACs are the priciest and will set you back an average of $3,000 – $10,000.

Note that the above are average figures. Other factors, including brand and cooling capacity, will determine the exact price.

Air conditioning technology is evolving by the day. Consult an HVAC technician before you invest in a new cooling system. The technician will help you match your needs and budget to the best AC in the market.