HVAC & Air Conditioning Contractors in Chicago, IL
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Chicago Air Conditioning
While the Windy City certainly has its share of cold weather, during summers in Chicago, air conditioning is a luxury that many feel is well worth the expense. Not having air conditioning in Chicago is not a life or death situation the way not having heat in the winter could be, but having a comfortable home all year round is a big motivator for homeowners to install A/C. There are several air conditioning options to choose from; picking the most appropriate one for your situation can be a bit difficult. By understanding the pros and cons of each system, you'll have a better idea of what kind of air conditioner (if any) will be best for your home.
Options and Types
In Chicago, air conditioners are available to suit most situations; from a small unit that offers a bit of respite during the worst heat to a whole house system that will keep your home cool all summer long, there's generally an air conditioner that will suit your needs no matter how big or small.
Central A/C generally consists of a condenser on the outside of your home and large amounts of ductwork that provides cool air to every room of your house. However, in Chicago, air conditioners that use a lot of ductwork might not be an option in older buildings as the expense (or even physical logistics) of altering the structure to accommodate that ductwork may be too much of a burden. In these cases, mini-duct or ductless air conditioners are a more reasonable option. In some areas of the country, a heat pump can provide both heating and cooling in one unit; in Chicago, heat pumps are not the standard as their heating capacity leaves much to be desired when compared to a furnace of boiler.Portable Air Conditioners
Though Chicago summers can get pretty hot, many residents who have lived with the annual temperature changes for years might be reluctant to install a costly central air conditioning system. However, when temperatures get into the 80's and 90's, it's nice to have a little relief in your home. For cooling one or two rooms (living areas and bedrooms are both popular spots to cool), a window unit that can be purchased at any department store and installed by just about anyone who can lift it is often a good alternative to central air conditioning. Chicago homeowners who want to cool more than one or two rooms, however, will find that central air conditioning is more efficient, more convenient, and less expensive in the long run than installing 5 or 6 portable units.
Installing central air conditioning in Chicago can be very expensive or relatively cheap depending on your situation and the type of unit you purchase. We've seen prices for this job go for as little as $2,000 or $3,000 and as much as $12,000. Part of the disparity in cost is surely due to the size of the property being worked on as well as the difficulty of fitting in ductwork (and perhaps having to alter the property's structure in the process). The type of unit that is purchased will also make a difference in the cost of the project, but it is important to carefully consider the benefits of buying a more efficient condenser. Though the initial cost might be a bit more formidable, the long term savings and added performance of a top of the line A/C unit can not only make up the difference over time, but will also keep your home more comfortable, too!
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