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When you live in an area that gets high summer temperatures or is warm all year round, air conditioning is an absolute must. Some top floor condos would be unlivable without air conditioning, especially in stifling, humid summers. Many people settle for window air conditioners when they're attempting to cool off, but if the heat is a problem you face for a good portion of the year, you might want to consider central air conditioning.

Central air conditioning operates on the same principle as central heating. One large air conditioning unit, usually located outside, is responsible for cooling the whole building by piping air throughout the building. In some areas that get low winter temperatures along with high summer temperatures, central air conditioning and central heating may both be present and can use the same network of ducts to move air through the house.

Central air conditioning, in addition to cooling your home, also has several added benefits over the traditional window air conditioning that can be plugged into a wall. For one thing, it increases the resale value of your home. It also helps exchange and filter the air in your home, giving you better indoor air quality. Noise is often a problem with window air conditioners, and with the actual air conditioning unit located outside the noise level is much lower.

Central air conditioning is obviously much more expensive than a single window mounted air conditioning unit. However if you factor in the added cost of purchasing and running window air conditioners in all the rooms of your house, it may actually be more economical, both financially and environmentally, to spring for central air conditioning. To get an estimate of how much central air conditioning would cost for your home, phone a local heating and cooling expert.

Often the easiest way to get central air conditioning, however, is to simply look for homes for sale that already have it installed. Some indications that a home has it include a noisy box in the yard or on the roof and a control panel for the system somewhere inside the house. You can also ask your real estate agent to show you only homes with central air conditioning. It's a big selling feature, so it will likely be stated in the home listing as well. Of course, be certain you also have a home inspection completed. If you invite Housemaster Albany Home Inspections in for example, they will verify that the AC unit is in proper working condition along with everything else inside and outside the building. You can contact them at housemaster.com.

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