When trying to beat the heat and humidity of a hot summer day, there are countless solutions that offer varying degrees of relief. Staying hydrated, avoiding heat-generating appliances, and applying cool wet cloths to your pulse points are common suggestions. But if you really want to stay cool in the summer heat, you need an air conditioner.
It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity
Well, it’s both. High levels of humidity make even moderate heat unbearable. You’ve no doubt seen weather reports that show the actual air temperature alongside another higher number that represents what it feels like. This higher number is the heat index, which takes into account both the air temperature and the relative humidity.
Normally, when our bodies sweat the moisture on our skin evaporates, cooling us down in the process. But our sweat doesn’t evaporate as easily when the relative humidity rises above 60%, which is why heat and humidity are such an uncomfortable pair. This also explains why a damp cloth is less effective at keeping you cool in humid environments.
Thankfully, air conditioners combat both heat and humidity. While air conditioners cool the air, they also extract moisture from it. So outside of jumping into a pool or walk-in freezer, air conditioning is and always will be the best way to beat the heat and humidity of summer.
What Kind of Air Conditioner Should I Buy for My Home?
Central air conditioning systems have long been the preferred choice for cooling whole homes. However, in recent years, ductless air conditioners have seen an uptick in popularity. Both kinds of systems provide effective cooling while simultaneously dehumidifying your space. Let’s take a look at these different styles and our preferred manufacturers of each.
Central Air Conditioners
Central air conditioners let you control the temperature and humidity throughout your home from a single thermostat. They include both an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The indoor unit transfers the heat from the air in your home to a refrigerant, which flows to the outdoor unit where the heat dissipates. The indoor unit then blows the cooled air through ductwork to the various rooms in your home.
American Standard central air conditioners are consistently among the top choices for whole-home cooling solutions. HVAC professionals and rating agencies like Consumer Reports consistently rank them among the highest quality and most dependable AC units on the market.
In terms of owner satisfaction, American Standard earns a 5/5 rating on Consumer Reports. And Trane is the only brand that sits higher on their charts. This makes sense, given that the two brands are sister companies and their ACs are produced on the same manufacturing line with the same parts. However, American Standard units are often slightly less expensive.
The only real difference between the two brands is that some high-efficiency Trane models come with a Duratuff top for the condensing unit. However, you can get that exact same Duratuff top for the equivalent American Standard units. But we’ve been installing central air in Cape Cod homes for more than 25 years and rarely see issues a Duratuff top might have prevented.
In addition to their overall quality and durability, American Standard central air conditioners are known for their efficiency. Their models all meet or exceed SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) Standards, which are the standards set by the government to help reduce energy usage. Buying a model with a high SEER means lower electric bills and a lower carbon footprint.
Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners
If you’re looking for an even more efficient way to beat the heat in the summer, consider a Mitsubishi ductless mini-split air conditioner. These units operate similarly to central air conditioners, but there are a few key differences that help them reduce their energy consumption.
Rather than a single indoor unit that sends cool air into every room at once, Mitsubishi ductless air conditioning systems usually have multiple indoor units. Each unit can be controlled independently from the others, providing you with multiple climate zones throughout the house.
So if your family members like to fall asleep in different temperatures, everyone can dial in their ideal temp in their own climate zone. And Mitsubishi ductless ACs also double as heaters in the winter, giving you year-round comfort from a single system.
Because the indoor units are located in the rooms they cool (and heat), Mitsubishi ductless ACs don’t require any ductwork. This makes them an excellent choice for homes without such ducts already in place. Plus, the lack of ducts improves energy efficiency, keeping your bills and your carbon footprint to a minimum. In fact, they can reduce your yearly energy bills by up to 25%.
If you’re looking for an AC the gives you the most control possible while using the least amount of power, you’re looking for Mitsubishi ductless air conditioners.
Trust The Fuel Company with All of Your Cooling Needs
Both central air conditioners and ductless systems have their strengths and weaknesses. If you’d like to learn more about either or discuss which would be right for your home, give us a call today. We’re more than happy to answer any questions and have the knowledge and experience to outfit your home with the perfect cooling solution.
Call us today at 508-548-3030!