When it comes to air conditioning, many homeowners opt for a standard central unit. This has a compressor that sits outside the home, blowing cooled air through the furnace and then through the ducts and vents inside the home, cooling all the rooms equally.
While this is a popular choice for a residential air conditioning system, it's not your only option. Note a few other choices you have for a cooling system in your home, so you can discuss these options with a contractor as needed.
Hybrid air conditioners
A hybrid air conditioner will use a combination of power sources, and will switch between the two, in order to save energy and save you money on your utility bills. Many hybrid air conditioners will have solar panels installed, and the system will use solar power as long as the solar batteries are charged, and will then switch to electrical power when needed.
A heat pump works by sensing the location of hot air, and removing it from a space. Many heat pumps will be reverse cycling; this means that they will pull hot air out of your home during summertime, venting it to the outside, but will then pull warm air from outside the home in winter, bringing it inside the home. A reverse cycle air conditioner and heat pump can allow you to have one unit for year-round use, and may also mean lower utility bills, as there is less need to actually heat or cool the air that is being circulated into your home.
An evaporative or "swamp" cooler changes hot, dry air to cooler, more moist air. This makes an evaporative cooler a good choice for desert areas, where your home might feel like a dry, hot oven! Even if you do have a central or other air conditioning unit in the home, you might opt for an evaporative cooler to work along with it, especially for upper levels of the home, where heat gets trapped. This can also be good if you have timber floors or other such materials that might get brittle and damaged in very dry climates.
Geothermal heating and cooling involves a loop or coil that is installed underground. During the summer, this coil will remove the cool air from underground and circulate it around your home, and then remove cold air from your home in wintertime, depositing it to the same underground area.