Pittsburgh Air Conditioning

by Jon Nunan

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While some places in the country have an almost year round use for air conditioning, Pittsburgh is only concerned with cooling off for a scant few summer months. This doesn't mean, however, that Iron City residents don't need to beat the heat in the most efficient way possible. If you're thinking about installing an air conditioner of any kind in your southwestern Pennsylvania home, it is a good idea to take a close look at what is available to really know what the best choice is for you.

Options for Central Air Conditioning in Pittsburgh
Central air conditioning systems are usually the most efficient choice for cooling a house, especially in warm climates. Traditional central air can be found in many Pittsburgh homes, and if you've already got it, and it's working well for you, there's probably no need to replace it. If your unit is very old, however, it is also likely that it costs an arm and a leg to operate. In this case, it might be well worth looking into a newer, more cost-effective model.

Newer mini duct and ductless air conditioning systems are more efficient, and in many ways more appealing than their traditional counterparts. The vast amount of ductwork needed in conventional systems is bulky enough to take up a very large portion of an attic: Attics in warmer climates are often so full of this ductwork that you'd be hard pressed to salvage even a few square feet of useable space. Since many people get a lot of use out of their attic space in Pittsburgh, air conditioning units that would take that space away are simply not a good option.

Mini duct and ductless systems take up much less space and are far better suited for homes that weren't designed with central air conditioning in mind. If you have tried to get central air installed in your home in the past, and have been told that it just wasn't possible with how your house was designed, you may have better luck with one of these two systems.

Pittsburgh Air Conditioning with Window Units
The easiest and most direct way to cool off a single room is to put in a window or wall mounted unit. These air conditioners are inexpensive and a snap to get up and running, but they only cool one room at a time. Since the need for cool air is not an everyday thing in Pittsburgh, air conditioning only one or two rooms is not a bad option. Though you'd certainly be wasting money putting a window or wall mounted unit in every room of the house, keeping just two rooms cool in the summer (like the living room and a bedroom, for example) won't cost that much more and will really have a comfortable effect on your summertime living space.

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Furnace Replacement
If the furnace powering your forced air heating system in the winter is leaving you a little frigid, you may want to consider replacing it with a unit that contains both a furnace and an air conditioner. Houses with forced air heat (sorry radiator people, this won't work as well for you) can generally be converted to pump both hot air and cold air around the home.

Pittsburgh Air Conditioning Repair and Installation Costs
To install central air conditioning, Pittsburgh homeowners generally pay between $3,000 and $5,000. Iron City air conditioning repairs are usually a quite affordable $100 to $300. Window air conditioners, which are designed to circumvent professional installation, cost between $200 and $500. Wall mounted units are slightly more expensive, but are more efficient; they usually need to be professionally installed.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.