When it’s time for a new air conditioning system there are many options. Here are a few things to look for.
What do good central air units have in common?
The best ones are efficient and operate on minimal electricity to hold utility bills down. They provide steady, dependable performance year after year when properly maintained. Good systems are quiet, long-lasting and easy to service.
How can I be sure my unit is the right size?
Obviously, an air conditioner that’s too small won’t keep your home sufficiently cool. But what many don’t realize is that an over-sized system will cycle (turn on and off) more than necessary, wasting expensive energy and possibly putting undue strain on the compressor.
Your dealer must determine the optimum size for your home by making a careful study of your cooling requirements. Window dimensions and exposure. Floor space, insulation and local climate. Heat-generating appliances. The direction your home faces.
From these calculations we can specify the cooling capacity of the system in either Btu/h (British thermal units of heat removed per hour) or refrigeration tons (one ton being equal to 12,000 Btu/h).
Which air conditioners are energy efficient?
Much like automobile manufacturers, today’s air conditioner manufacturers are required by law to evaluate and rate their equipment according to its energy efficiency. This rating is known in the industry as a SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the equipment.
Most new homes with central air come equipped with a standard builder’s model. However, when replacement becomes necessary, property owners can upgrade their air conditioning by specifying a more energy-efficient system.
High SEER models are generally more expensive, but can easily make up the difference by reducing your home energy bills over the long run.
Are some air conditioners built better than others?
The compressor is the heart of a condensing unit. On a hot day, it works long and hard. The best compressor is the highly advanced scroll compressor. Scroll Compressors are recognized by the industry as the leader in reliability, efficiency and quiet operation.
Other features to look for include louvered steel cabinets that protect the coils from damage and expensive repair bills.
Also, with some condensing units, the fan can be another source of bothersome noise. Look for units that have a grill design that minimizes air restriction for quieter fan operation.