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Type of Air Conditioners

What’s best for you?

Posted 07:57 February 09, 2018
Last Updated 07:57 April 16, 2018

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In Las Vegas, air conditioning isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. With summer temperatures that can exceed 110 degrees during our hottest months, we need air conditioning.

Portable Units

Portable units can easily be moved from room to room. They require an exhaust vent, so they can remove hot air from the room being cooled and transfer it outside. All come with window adapters so you can easily and quickly set them up in a room.

All types of air conditioners must dehumidify the air before they can cool it. Portable units do this in one of 2 ways. Cheaper, less expensive units will have a collection tray at the base of the unit. You must periodically empty water from the unit or it will shut off when the tray becomes full. In highly humid environments you may need to empty the water collection tray every few hours.

More expensive units will blow out water vapor through the exhaust vent. With these units you don’t need to keep empting the water collection tray. They are more convenient and require less intervention on your part.

Portable units are good for remote locations, or areas that need an extra boost of cooling during an excessively hot time of blistering weather. They are easy to set up and remove.

Window and Wall Units

These units are basically the same. Their difference lies in how they are installed. Wall units are meant as a permanent installation in the wall. A hole is cut in the exterior wall and a special sleeve is used to install the unit in the wall. If you buy a wall unit, it should come with the sleeve.

Windows units do not come with a special sleeve. They are meant as a temporary installation in a window. Window units may also require additional supporting hardware, which will help hold the unit up. This hardware is usually not included when you purchase a window unit.

Window units cannot be installed in walls and wall units cannot be installed in windows. These units are the cheapest of all air conditioning choices. They also tend to be the least efficient, meaning you will spend more on your monthly electric bill.

Central Air or HVAC Units

Central air conditioners are much more efficient than portable or window/wall units. They are visually out of the way and easy to operate. Today’s best central air units use up to 50% less energy than units made in the 1970s. A modern unit will outperform a unit that is just 10 years old by 10-20%.

Central air conditioners require professional installation. They are complex in nature and often require a crane to install. They are the most expensive of all air conditioning choices, but over time the upfront expense can be offset by lower monthly electric bills.

Split Units

Split units, sometimes called ductless air conditioners, are a newer, more efficient variety of air conditioners. Used in Europe and Asia for decades, these units are now seeing higher adoption rates in the United States. They work via 2 parts, an inside unit and an outside compressor. The exterior compressor can power between 1 and 5 interior units, depending on the compressor’s size.

Split units have numerous advantages. They are near-silent in operation. They come in extremely efficient (high SEER) models. Because interior units are installed in each room, you have total control over cooling throughout your home. Cool the rooms you use and power down other rooms you aren’t using.

Cost-wise, a total-home split air conditioning system is slightly more expensive than installing a new central air unit. Unit and installation price will depend on how many rooms you have, how many interior units you need, and how many exterior compressors you require. Installation complexity is roughly the same as installing a new HVAC unit. Although you won’t require a crane to install units on your roof (and the individual components are less heavy and more easily moved), it is still a pretty complex job. Only the most hardcore do-it-yourself homeowner should attempt a split unit installation.


All Trades installs, repairs, and services all types of heating and cooling equipment. Our highly trained professionals are fast, courteous, and always arrive on time. Contact us today and find why we are one of the highest rated plumbing and air conditioning companies in the Las Vegas valley. We service Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and most of Clark County, Nevada.

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