In the hot areas of the country, cooling can account for a significant portion of your home's energy bill. The type of cooling system and how it is used play a major role in determining energy use but the home's characteristics and the resident's personal needs factor in as well. Fortunately, air conditioning technology continues to advance and increases in efficiency and effectiveness follow as a result.

With every whole house or mini-split system, it is a really good idea to get the system sized and installed by a reputable contractor. Check with your utility to see if they have any programs to help with replacing a central air system or maintain a list of qualified contractors.