Split System or Packaged System?
See below for some information to get you started.
Split Air Conditioning Systems
Split systems are most commonly used for residential homes. Consisting of an outdoor condenser (housing the compressor or heat pump) and an indoor unit (housing the evaporator and potentially the furnace), a split system offers higher efficiency potential. The higher the SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), the less energy the equipment uses to operate and the less you pay in utility bills. For a split system, SEER ratings range from 13 to 23. If you already have a furnace, this is the more cost-effective choice. Despite a higher initial investment, the long-term savings are worth it.
Packaged Air Conditioning Systems (Self-Contained)
Packaged systems are most commonly used for commercial buildings. Typically located on the roof, one unit houses the condenser, compressor, and evaporator and may include electric heating coils or a natural gas furnace. The design is wonderfully space-saving and the equipment can be installed out-of-sight and provide a distance from operational sounds. The installation costs are less expensive and SEER ratings typically fall between 13 and 18.