How to pick the best AC System for your rental property

All right. So here we are in this one bedroom apartment and as you can tell, I am sweating because we’ve no power and no air conditioning. So let’s talk about air conditioning. Because we’ve got a one bedroom apartment, we’ve got a few options when it comes to upgrading the air conditioning or replacing it. Really, there are three options for air conditioning in any property, but first is what we’ve got here, wall unit air conditioning, probably the least desirable from the point of view of the resident at the property, but it can have some benefits for the owner of the property.
Why is it not desirable for the tenants? Well, obviously, it’s bulky, not very pretty looking and typically is noisy and does not cool the apartment as well as a central AC system or mini split system, which I’ll tell you about in a moment. From the landlord perspective, however, it’s cheap to change out if it breaks and it’s just less maintenance, less routine maintenance. So simpler is better from that point of view.
The second type of air conditioning we can install in here and something we’re considering doing is a mini split system. A mini split system is kind of a crossover between a central AC system and wall units. It still has an exterior compressor, but then it has one or more heavy units inside the apartment, which can be placed at different areas in the apartment to cool different zones. Those can be temperature controlled separately, one unit can be off, the other can be on. And they typically run nice and quietly they’re more energy efficient and they cool apartments in a better way than the wall units. They of course are more expensive and require more expertise with installation. You’ve got to run coolant lines, you’ve got to insulate the lines and you’ve got two sides, you’ve got the exterior compressor and the inside unit. So really needs to be done by an air conditioning expert, whereas a wall unit can be changed out by a good handyman.
Lastly, we could look at a central air conditioning system and that may work for this apartment, but some of the drawbacks there, since we all pretty much know what central air conditioning is, we’ve got an exterior compressor units, you’ve got an air handler inside, and then you’ve got ducks that transfer the air, the cool air, to the different rooms in the apartment. So from a point of view cooling a space, central air conditioning is the best. It gives the most cooling and you spread the cool air to the most places. But the downsides are it’s bulky on the inside because you’ve got to find a place to put that air handler. So we would lose either a closet space or we may not be able to put in a washer dryer because we got to find a place to put the air handler. The other thing is we’ve got to find a place to run the air ducts so that we can put in the grills to circulate the air. So requires more construction in addition to the installation of the AC system and more space.
So we’re going to make a decision here. Most likely we’re going to put in a mini split system, but we’ll keep you posted as we do the project.