It’s hard to pick from the veritable cornucopia of new air conditioners on the market today. With an air conditioner being one of the largest, longest lasting appliance investments you will make for your home, you want to get it right. Where do you start? Aire Serv® is here for you, helping you select the perfect AC system for your home that can help you increase comfort levels, reduce energy consumption, and last you for years to come.
- Split System AC
Split systems are the most common type of central AC, using ductwork and a mechanical blower to distribute air. It’s “split” because refrigerant is circulated between an indoor unit (housing the coil) and an outdoor unit (housing the condenser and compressor). Indoor and outdoor units must be properly matched for compatibility and efficiency. Some types, such as heat pump styles, offer both heating and cooling.
- Packaged Units
Operating with ductwork and a blower as split systems do, packaged systems “package” both the coil unit and condenser/compressor unit under a single housing outside your home.
- Ductless Split Systems
A great option for homes without the ability to accommodate ductwork. Similar to wall units with the noisy part (compressor) located outside, ductless systems run small lines through your home’s walls to transport refrigerant to/from indoor units located on the ceiling or walls. Indoor units take in air through the top, heating or cooling it and emitting air via vents in the bottom. One outdoor unit can serve up to 8 indoor room units extremely efficiently and allowing for varying temperatures at each unit location. Equipment and installation costs less than ducted systems, but more than wall units.
Selecting the right size system is essential to comfort and efficiency. Too small and the system will be under stress, unable to keep up with cooling demands on summer’s hottest days. Too large and your system will cycle on and off frequently, resulting in premature wear and tear. Oversized systems also have difficulty removing humidity, increasing the likelihood of mold and air quality issues.
SEER rating will dictate the efficiency of your chosen system. The higher the rating, the greater the efficiency. The minimum SEER rating allowed on the market today is 14. Systems just 10 years old have a minimum rating of 10, with some older systems rated as poorly as 6 or less. Replacing these dated systems could save you 20-40 percent on cooling costs. When selecting SEER, consider savings over the life of the system over the cheapest available option to avoid paying more in energy over time than you would have invested in a better system initially.
R-22 refrigerant, the coolant of choice in pre-2010 systems, is being phased out by the E.P.A and U.S. Government due to environmental concerns in favor of R-410, a friendlier alternative. As of January 1, 2020, only recovered, recycled, or reclaimed R-22 may be used to service existing systems, with the cost of maintaining these systems expected to rise. When selecting a new system, be certain it is R-410A compatible.
- Thermal Expansion Valve
Helps your unit better cope with high temperatures.
- Fan-only Switch
Using this switch to circulate air at night rather than run the AC can significantly reduce energy use.
- Automatic-delay Fan Switch
Moves remaining cool air through ducts after your system turns off.
- Filter Check Light
Ensures the efficiency and lifespan of your system by reminding you of filter maintenance.
- Variable Speed Air Handler
Saves energy by allowing different speeds of air movement based on your cooling needs, rather than simply off or full blast.
Does the thought of buying a new air conditioner make you sweat? Aire Serv can help. Contact us for a free consultation today.