Summer’s unbearable humidity and temperatures leave Hawaii residents with many cooling solutions to consider. Keep in mind that air conditioning is more than just its physical appearance and energy efficiency.

Besides physical appeal, operating electrical cost is important. Systems are evaluated with its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), which gives a quick comparison of different brands and type of system for a given size. High efficiency SEERs are in the 20s, while low efficiency is in the low-to mid-teens. Although high-efficiency units are more expensive, the savings in monthly electrical bills will soon offset the difference in price.

Ease of installation

Window units are the cheapest and easiest to install. Often, homeowners can do it without a contractor and it plugs right into a typical wall outlet. It’s very efficient since the unit only cools the room it’s in, not the whole house. The disadvantage: It can be unsightly and noisy, but who cares when it’s hot?

The popular ductless-split system (DLS)


It’s an upscale, quiet window unit. The indoor unit hangs on the indoor wall and the outdoor unit is on the ground outside. The DLS offers great energy efficiency and reasonable first cost.

Ducted System

The true central system is a ducted system, but is usually installed in new construction. To be efficient, zoning dampers are installed to control each room. It’s the best, most efficient and most aesthetic. Usually, one indoor unit and one outdoor unit for the whole house is enough.

It is most important to purchase a brand with reputation and integrity. Consumers often overlook after-sale service, which sometimes can end up leading them to wait three to six weeks for replacement parts.


Carrier Hawaii is the largest and oldest air conditioning distributor in the state. It has the largest equipment inventory and parts inventory, along with four parts store locations. As a company, it has offered local factory service training for the past 38 years and has even trained more technicians in the state, guaranteeing first-rate, knowledgeable service.

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