You may be surprised to find out that there are various types of air conditioning systems from which to choose for your home or other space, and not just a ducted or central air unit. You can opt for a ductless split system air conditioner, which is vented right out a wall and cools a limited space from a front panel, a standard window air conditioner, or a portable unit. While they all have their advantages, note a few tips for choosing the right type for your home or other such space.
A central air system might be good for improving the resale value of a home, as future homebuyers may prefer a ducted system that cools the entire home at once. It's also good for homes where moisture and humidity get trapped, as it can more readily remove humidity from the air than any smaller unit. Consider these factors when choosing an air conditioning system and opt for central air if you might move or live in an area with a lot of humidity.
Ductless or split system
In older homes where ducts may be very leaky and need repair or replacing, you might forego that expense and opt for a split system unit for the busiest areas of the home instead. A ductless system is also good for outbuildings without ducts where a window air conditioner is not strong enough to cool the space or where windows cannot support such a system. For example, if you have a garage or shed you work in regularly, the windows in such a building may not be strong enough to hold an air conditioner. You can have a split system installed instead.
Window and portable units
The lack of cooling power for window and portable units are their obvious drawback, but note that you might purchase one to use with a ducted system. For example, at night you might run a window unit or portable unit in the bedroom alone. A portable unit can also be good for outbuildings as mentioned above, but ensure that the building has the watts needed for such a unit. A portable unit also needs to be vented out a window or open space, so it's not good if the windows in the outbuilding don't open and you don't want to work with the garage or shed door open as well. They can work well for basements where the windows may not open enough for a window unit and where the cooling from your central air or split system doesn't reach.