If you are currently shopping around for an air conditioner for your home, there are many different things to consider. The type of home you have and your personal preferences should be considered, along with other details about different types of air conditioning systems.
Cost and Installation
The first thing to think about is the cost and installation of the different air conditioners that are available. If you have a pretty big budget and want the best money can buy, you will most likely go with a central air conditioner. However, if you don't mind spending much, but would prefer an easier installation, a mini split ductless air conditioner might be more what you are looking for. For an air conditioner that is inexpensive and doesn't require any installation, a portable air conditioner or a window air conditioner might be something to consider.
Size of Your Home
Another major consideration is the approximate size of your home and how many rooms you might want to cool off at the same time. If you have a small townhouse or detached house, central air conditioning might not be necessary. A good window air conditioner or split-system air conditioner can cool off multiple rooms if you have an open floor plan and a small space. On the other hand, large homes where you want to cool off multiple bedrooms at one time usually call for a central system, since the air goes through the vents of each room.
If you want the least amount of maintenance as possible for your new air conditioner, a portable system is probably your best bet. There is very little maintenance aside from making sure the air filter is clean. A window air conditioner also has minimal maintenance, only requiring changing the air filer and cleaning the coils and outer unit. With a split system air conditioner, you need to head outside and make sure no debris is in that part of the unit. The central unit naturally has the most maintenance required.
Frequency of Use
When you are looking for the right air conditioner, also consider how often it will be used. If you live somewhere with a hot climate where you will be using it frequently, central air conditioners are often the preferred method. These have even, effective cooling power throughout your home. If it is only used occasionally and less often since you live in a mild climate, split system and window air conditioners are probably the better option.