What Type Of Air Conditioner Do I Have?

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Updated February 4, 2023

If you are an absolute beginner in the world of indoor cooling, you may ask, “What kind of air conditioner do I have?” The best air conditioners, after all, ship in a wide variety of designs and types to suit your own space. So what kind of AC unit do you possess, what size central air conditioner should you get, how to find out, and what are the options? There are 3 basic types of AC systems, window, portable, and central. Window units go into a standard window and are used to cool a single room, whereas a portable unit will still use a window for ventilation, but it can be moved from room to room thanks to the unit being on wheels. Central AC units are used to cool a whole house and have a large centralized unit outside the home.


  • To find out which air conditioner you have, simply look around the house as window units rest in windows and central AC models boast an outdoor unit and indoor unit.
  • A window air conditioner is great for cooling a single room at a time, regarding square footage, but is loud during operation.
  • Central units can cool a whole house at once, but cost a lot more than other types, including a portable unit.

What AC Do You Have?

Before learning what is wrong with your central air conditioner, or any type, you have to suss out what type of AC unit you have in your home. If you have window units, check the windows or check the surrounding areas for portable air conditioners, no matter the voltage of your AC unit. If you head outside and see an outdoor compressor, you have a central AC, so you can learn what type of freon is used with home air conditioners. Just use your eyes to figure out what kind of air conditioning system is being used in your house.

Insider Tip

No matter which kind of AC you choose, be sure to change out or clean the air filters as needed.

Types of AC Systems

There are many different designs out there, each suiting different consumers. Here are the most common types of air conditioning systems available for purchase.

Window Units

A standard window unit is great for cooling a single room, especially if you want to save some money. Window units are the cheapest option, and drastically cheaper when compared to central AC systems. However, window units are heavy, take up a pre-existing window, and can be quite loud during use. You should also set aside a storage area to place the AC throughout the rest of the year (unless you live in Florida.)

Portable Units

Portable air conditioning units are not dissimilar to window units, but the bulk of the cooling takes place in a moveable housing that rolls on the ground. This housing, however, features a large duct that needs window access. Portable units are great for cooling a single room and a good choice for those who like to switch up which room is being cooled on the fly.

Central AC Units

If you are looking to cool a whole house at once, go for a central AC system. These modern marvels will make summer discomfort a thing of the past, though they are rather expensive, with significant maintenance needs.

STAT: Poor duct installation can lower the efficiency of your equipment. The shortest distance between your inside unit and the various rooms in the home is best. (source)


How do I know if I have a heat pump or an AC?

Look for an outdoor unit, which indicates an air conditioner. Otherwise, look at the packaging, as there are many types of air conditioners out there.

How does central air conditioning work?

This is one of the more complex types of air conditioners, with an outdoor unit that does the heavy lifting. An average central air conditioning unit is energy efficient, so long as it boasts an Energy Star rating.

What are the benefits of central air conditioning?

The benefits are obvious, as they cool an increased square footage amount, accounting for an entire home at once. A single unit reduces temperature by a large degree of British Thermal Units.

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