AC-Air Conditioners - Francis Plumbing

AC-Air Conditioners

AC – Air Conditioners

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AC – Air Conditioner – basic information

There are more types of residential AC air conditioners on the market than what you might think.

The four most popular types of home air conditioners in Ottawa are:

Your home configuration and your budget will impact which home cooling solution is best for you.

If you are living in a temporary dwelling (apartment or rented condo) a cheap window unit may be your only option.

But if you are in a house or townhouse there are much better ways to cool your home more effectively while:

  • using less electricity
  • controlling humidity levels
  • maintaining more consistent temperatures through out the house
  • much quieter operation
  • improve air quality
  • better for your overall health
  • and more…


The most common type of air conditioning in Ottawa homes is central air conditioners. These allow you to cool your entire home using the existing duct work connected to your furnace.

A central AC air conditioner works with an outdoor unit that dumps hot air outside the house then pumps refrigerant through a refrigerant line to the inside coil (evaporator coil) that is installed above your furnace fan inside your home. Your furnace fan actually blows across the cold coil and blows that cold air through the house using the same existing duct work and air filters.

The thermostat typically connects to the same thermostat as your furnace giving you controls to both heating and cooling using one central thermostat.

Most homeowners replace or add a central air conditioner when they replace their furnaces to save additional money on labour since it is easier to install an air conditioner while installing a furnace since they both use the same duct work and thermostat. But a central air conditioner can be added at any time and at prices that may surprise you.

A typical AC central air conditioner cost much less than a furnace and will usually last twice as long as a furnace because it isn’t used for as many months. Central air conditioners typically last between 10 to 20 years depending on the quality of the unit, the maintenance performed regularly and the quality of the installation. Get your Free AC Buyers Guide for complete details.

Most common air conditioning models currently available in Ottawa, Ontario.


A split ductless air conditioner is the best solution if you DO NOT have existing duct work. This is common in older homes (heritage homes) and homes built with hydronic heating systems (boilers, radiant floor heating and radiators).  When there is no duct work existing a split ductless air conditioner is the perfect solution.

It works like a central air conditioner with an outdoor unit for dumping the hot air outside that is connected by a refrigerant line to a self contained indoor unit called a head. These units are available in multiple heads (this way you can have an AC head in each necessary room of the house). Each head is independently controlled with there own remote controller so you can adjust different temperatures for different rooms for maximum comfort.



As more people become concerned about global warming we will see an increase in more homes switching to a heat pump to replace their air conditioner while supplementing their furnace with greener alternatives than burning fossil fuels.

Heat Pumps work just like central air conditioners with a unit outside that connects to a coil above your existing furnace. In the summer time the Heat Pump dumps the hot air outside and the cool air inside – in the winter time it works in reverse dumping the cold air outside and the warm air inside to heat your home.

Heat Pumps used to be very costly and not practical for use in Canada until just the last few years. Standard heat pumps can provide heat when it is as low as -10°Celsius outside (newer ultra low temperature heat pumps can continue providing heat with outdoor temperatures as low as -25°C or -30°C).

Heat Pumps replace your AC but they DO NOT replace your furnace they supplement your furnace. So instead of burning fossil fuels for 6 months or more – you use the heat pump for spring and fall when outdoor temperatures are above minus 10 Celsius. When the temperatures are below -10°C then you switch to your furnace. This means a reduction of 60% to 80% of fossil fuels being burned every year to heat your home (and a huge reduction in your carbon footprint).

Heat pumps – like ALL air conditioners listed – operate on electricity. The higher the efficiency the lower the electrical usage (meaning a lower hydro bill). The higher the efficiency the higher the price tag so you have to find that perfect balance of what will minimize your carbon foot print without costing you more in the long run.



Having a free air conditioning consultation with a professional AC estimator will help provide you with:

  • Reviewing the different AC products on the market today
  • Reviewing which type of cooling unit will best fit your home (size, efficiency, etc.) that will stay within your budget
  • Help you decide which is more economically viable while still meeting your own personal needs (what’s the most important features for you & your family when it comes to home cooling)
  • Discuss the different indoor air quality options for improving the overall health of your home and family (some options don’t provide any real benefits, so its good to discuss these before making final decisions).
  • Reviewing different finance options and any rebates that may be available

Whether you are thinking of adding an air conditioning system or unit to your home or you already have one that is over 10 years old that should be replaced with a unit that uses much less electricity – speaking to a professional consultant can help you plan (and budget) for the future.

Call today for your free AC consultation with a professional estimator