If you have moved into a house that has not updated its air conditioning system, there may be a golden opportunity for you, provided you elect to make the investment.
Some homes still have air conditioning units that are positioned in an opening, whether it happens to be in one of the windows or right through a wall, and those units pump out air directly from their location into the room or space that you would occupy.
There are certain advantages to this, of course, including the fact that it is less expensive to buy, install and maintain. If you’re handy around the house, you may even be able to handle most of that yourself. But the flip side is that you will have a hard time covering those areas that are furthest away from the unit. RThen you have to consider installing a second unit, and there may not be too many appropriate places for it.
Central air is something to strongly consider, because it gets an even air flow into every area in the house you want it to go, as long as you have the proper ductwork installed to deliver it. And there are controls in the way of programmable thermostats that can help you adjust the temperature accordingly, so you will be able to regulate your AC bill.
You can get a “split” system, where the A-coil (also known as the evaporator coil) is located on the inside, generally inside a cabinet that is near the furnace or heat pump.
The more common system on those houses of decent size, is referred to as a “packaged” system. Here, there is a unit on the outside of the house that contains certain components, including the evaporator coil (which refrigerates the air as it goes in) and the condenser and allows for there to be a minimum of noise on the inside of the home.
You challenge is that you have to keep the outside unit clear of debris and obstruction. That may sometimes be difficult when you have kids. Also, you have to make sure that it is on level ground and in a position where it isn’t being baked by the sun. All AC professionals will tell you to station it on the north side of a house, if that is at all possible.
If you want to stay cool, in the most efficient way possible, perhaps the central air route is the one you should be looking very strongly at!