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Why Are People Opting out of Central Air Conditioning?

July 18, 2019 3 min read

Why Are People Opting out of Central Air Conditioning?

Central air conditioning was once the gold standard, the desired form of cooling during hot summer months. Portable cooling systems such as portable air conditioners or air coolers were mainly purchased by apartment dwellers that lived in old buildings where central air conditioning was not an option.

As portable cooling solutions developed and advanced, they have become equipped with so many bells and whistles that consumers have reevaluated their entire cooling choices and investments.

The comparison below covers some of the biggest benefits of air coolers:

Evaporative Cooling
Traditional Cooling
– Economical to operate – Higher cost to operate
– Energy efficient – Higher energy usage
– Best used in hot, dry climates – Effective in any climate
– Fresh, clean air – Recirculated air
– Inexpensive installation – More up front installation costs
– Minimal maintenance required – Regular cleaning needed
– Very low CO2 emissions – Higher emissions comparitively
– Adds moisture to the air – Removes moisture from the air
– Allows for open windows and doors – Effective in enclosed space
– Quiet operation – Some are noisy when running

Disadvantages of Central Air Conditioning

Costly electricity bills

Central air conditioning can be powerful and effective at cooling an entire home or condo, but is that what’s really required for the typical household? How often is it necessary to cool every room in a house at the same time? The disadvantage of central air conditioning is that you pay for much more cooling than you likely need. Unfortunately, you don’t have control over separate rooms so you pay to cool an entire house even when the entire family is in the living room.

The high energy consumption of central air conditioning results in high monthly bills and with increasingly hot summers, electricity bills are climbing as energy consumption increases.

If you want to analyze your central air conditioning costs, check out this online calculator to see how much money you are actually spending on central air conditioning.

Expensive to install  

Installing central air conditioning in a home costs between $3,695 and $7,150. Portable air conditioners cost zero dollars to install as, do portable evaporative coolers.

Expensive to fix

Central air conditioning, not something an amateur can fix, so it can be quite expensive for a technician to make a service call and then spend time and parts on repairs that you must not only pay a huge price for, but keep up with regular maintenance.

Requires strong insulation in your home

The better the insulation the more effective central air conditioning will cool your home. If you need to repair or install new insulation for better cooling, this is another cost factor to consider. Alternatively, if you choose to live with poor insulation, this will contribute to a costly electricity bill. 

Not portable/limited use

Central air conditioning is just as it sounds–central. It is part of your home and cannot be moved to a summer home, to a cottage, from room to room (like portable air conditioners) or moved outside to use on your patio or backyard garden (like evaporative coolers).

Not environmentally friendly

Central air conditioning is not considered to be an environmentally friendly cooling option. If you use a portable air conditioner instead, which is more energy efficient than central air conditioning, you can also add an evaporative cooler to the mix, which is the most energy efficient cooling option, and alternate them depending on your preference. Both portable options are still significantly more energy efficient and cost-effective than central air conditioning.

Plenty of stale air

When using central air conditioning, it is imperative that your windows are closed. This leads to stale air and doesn’t provide the ventilation for germs to escape. Even with a portable air conditioner you can still open the window in other rooms and allow fresh air to flow into an enclosed room, or with the use of an air cooler, you have the constant, refreshing airflow ventilating your home from an open window or door.

Central air conditioning is out—portable cooling solutions are in!


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