Mr. John Air Conditioning in Tucson, Arizona!

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What HVAC Options Do I Have?

A Guide To Finding The Best Air Conditioning And Heating System For Your Tucson Home

The Best Air Conditioning Options For Your Home

Investing in a new air conditioning and heating system is a powerful step to improving the comfort of your home all year round. Because your home matters to you, you want to make sure you are doing your homework to find what is best for you. However, there can be so many things that you are considering that trying to decide what is the best air conditioning option for you can quickly become overwhelming. 

We made this guide with the hope of making it easier to understand the major things any homeowner should consider when renovating their home with air conditioning.  In this article we will explain some of the common options for home air conditioning and heating. We hope that this guide helps people that are considering air conditioning for their home or are in the process of purchasing central air conditioning better understand what is involved so that they can make the best decision for their home.

Mr. John is a family owned air conditioning and heating company based in Tucson, Arizona.  We work every day to deliver quality air conditioning and heating services to all of Southern Arizona. If you are near Tucson and are looking for air conditioning help for your home, office, or commercial project, contact us today and our team will be happy to help you. To learn more about our work, please visit our air conditioning and heating pages.

Table of Contents

Three technicians working together to install a rooftop air conditioning system in Tucson

Home Air Conditioning Option #1: What Brand of Air Conditioning is Best?

When considering the purchase of a new air conditioning and heating system, one of the biggest questions people tend to have is: what brand or manufacturer of air conditioning equipment is best for my home?

The simple answer to that question is that brand matters, but only so much. All of the major manufacturers of air conditioning and heating systems here in the United States are in direct competition with each other, which means that every year each of these manufacturers works to improve their product to be better than their competitors.

What we recommend for prospective buyers is to look for a brand that is designed in the United States.  This means that the system was designed and engineered here in the states to meet our national efficiency and safety standards. This also tends to mean that the systems are designed with high quality internal parts and components, and not cheap, low quality parts from overseas. This means that when you shop from the major air conditioning brands you can be confident that the system is soundly engineered and made of quality components.

Logo for Carrier, HVAC manufacturer and our main partner for air conditioning systems
Carrier is a leading American HVAC manufacturer, founded by Willis Carrier in 1915.

At Mr. John, our main manufacturing partner for air conditioning systems is the Carrier Global Corporation. Carrier is the brand that has the longest history of any air conditioning manufacturer in the world, as it was founded in New Jersey by the inventor of modern air conditioning, Willis Carrier, in 1915. Today, Carrier produces top quality air conditioning and heating systems that are energy efficient and quiet. The Carrier brand is trusted by governments, school districts, and hospitals all across the United States, and millions of homeowners worldwide.

However, the brand of any air conditioning and heating system only matters so much. What is actually more important than the brand or model of the system is the quality of the installation work to be done and the proper design of the system, its location and its air ductways, which should be done by a licensed and qualified contractor. Even the most expensive and highest efficiency system would not work to meet the needs of a house or building if the installation and its design are not correct. This is one reason why it is important to work with licensed contractors to ensure that your air conditioning system and its installation will meet the needs of your house.

Home Air Conditioning Option #2: Form Factor - Package Unit? Split System? Mini-Split?

One of the biggest decisions for homeowners looking to purchase new central air conditioning systems for their home is deciding on the form factor. Below are short descriptions on the three main types of central air conditioning systems for residential homes –  split system, package unit, and ductless mini-splits.

If you have any questions about HVAC systems, or would like to learn more about us as a Southern Arizona, Tucson based company, please contact us.

Package Unit

Image of a rooftop air conditioning and heating system
A Carrier 16 SEER Rooftop Package Unit

Package unit heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are the whole package, literally. Package units are called that way because the system packages inside all of the components necessary for air refrigeration and heating. They are very similar to split system air conditioners, functioning exactly the same as their split system counterpart but instead of being split into two systems, everything is packaged together in one unit.

We like package units because they are rugged, quiet, and save space. Instead of having two parts to the system, one usually inside the house and one outside, the package form factor combines them both into one system, saving space and reducing noise for the home. Package systems are usually placed on the roof of the home, or on the side of the home in the case of mobile homes.

Split System Air Conditioning & Heating

A split system heating and air conditioning and heating system for the home. Outside condenser and inside air handler and furnace.
A split system air conditioning combo by Mr. John

Split system heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems work together to heat and cool the entire home. Split systems are called that way because the system is split into two separate units, the outside condenser and the inside air handler. Together, the two systems work in unison to provide you cooling and heating for your home.

The outside condenser unit is where the compressor is based. The compressor works to pump pressurized refrigerant to the coils of the indoor unit. The process of pressurizing the refrigerant results in the production of very, very cold air inside the air handler. Inside the air handler, a large blower motor distributes conditioned air into your home. In the winter, the air handler is again tasked with distributing the conditioned air of your home, but this time filled with very warm air, either through controlled gas combustion for gas systems or the heating of electrical elements for heatpump systems.

Split systems are popular for newly constructed homes because of their minimal visual footprint – all that is seen from the outside is the small condenser on the side of the home. For this reason, they are common in association houses and many newly constructed homes. Split system air conditioners can often come in slightly higher efficiencies than package units, however split systems can sometimes have the downside of being noisy depending on the brand of the system and the installation.

Ductless Mini-Split HVAC Systems

A ductless minisplit system by the HVAC brand Daikin. The inverter is top right and the air handler is bottom left.
A ductless mini-split system. The indoor unit is on the bottom, and the outdoor condenser at the top.

Ductless mini-split systems are in many ways a modern advancement on the split system design of home air conditioning and heating systems. Instead of one condenser fueling one central air handler, which distributes all of the conditioned air for the home through one central ductwork, mini-split heating and air conditioning systems do away with the need for any ducts at all.

 Mini-split systems achieve this by having multiple handlers, one in each room or “zone” that needs air conditioning. The indoor units are installed on the wall of each zone, and are connected through the wall of the home to an outside condenser unit. The outdoor unit, called an inverter, powers the indoor systems in an advanced way, sending only as much refrigerant as necessary to each system  in each room indoors. Mini-split systems have the distinct advantage of being “multi-zone”, which means that every room or zone with an indoor unit gets to decide what temperature they want the room to be at.

Mini-split air conditioning systems are among the most efficient systems available on the market, reducing electric consumption and energy bills. Additionally, ductless minisplit systems can be a good solution for homeowners who need only an addition, shed, or one or two rooms air conditioned.

To learn more about minisplit air conditioning for your home or office, visit our page on minisplit systems.

Home Air Conditioning Option #3: Cooling Only, Or Heating Too?

A question homeowners have to ask regarding their home air conditioning system is if they would like a home air conditioning system that is only meant for cooling during the hotter times of the year, or if they would also like for the same system to provide for heating in the winter.

There are some homes with less common heating systems such as ground heating, natural gas, or radiator systems, where the homeowner might be quite happy with their home’s heating system and would not like to change it. In these cases, homes wanting to upgrade from a swamp cooler system or needing to replace a broken AC might most interested and best served by getting an air conditioner system that is only just that – an air conditioning system.  We find, however, that many homeowners are not always the happiest with the heating or furnace set-up, either because it is inefficient and costs too much money to run, or because of limited heating capability compared to modern Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems.

What we recommend for most homeowners is to consider going with a combined air-conditioning and heating system. The simple truth is that systems that can provide only cooling cost almost as much as systems that can provide quality year-long cooling and heat. By adding the heating component, either an electric heating element or a gas furnace, the system is able to use the same ducting and ventilation system of the home to provide powerful and efficient cooling and heating to the whole home. This option is preferable for most home owners, as modern air conditioning and heating systems will be best with new, modern sealed and insulated ductwork. Choosing a combined heating and air conditioning system allows homeowners to benefit by keeping their house cool, warm, and efficient all year round – at basically almost the same cost as a cooling-only air conditioning system.

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