What does your air conditioning system do?
In a nutshell, it's what keeps you warm or cool as the temperature outside changes the temperature inside. It uses an air conditioning refrigerant to provide cooling with the use of all air conditioning parts inside and comes in various sizes and cooling capabilities, depending on an individual's needs.
What is the difference between the air handler and the condensing unit?
Basically, it's a split-system air conditioner with the cold part inside in the house (the air handler) and the hot side on the outside (the condensing unit). The air handler takes the place of a furnace inside the home, usually in the attic, and consists of an evaporator coil and air conditioning refrigerant. The air handler blows air through the evaporator coil and then transfers it throughout the home or building using the ductwork to ensure every room is getting the end result - air conditioning and cold air. The condensing unit in located outside the home or building and does the same thing, only it uses hot air from the outside and transfers it to the inside of the home using a condenser coil.
Why should I clean my air conditioning filter?
To ensure you get the most out of your air conditioning system, plus it collects all kinds of allergens, including animal dander, dust and pollen.
When should I call my air conditioning company or air conditioning contractor if there's a problem with my air conditioning system
An air conditioning system is supposed to last you at least 12-15 years, some even run longer if taken care of properly. If you feel your air conditioning unit is not helping you shave costs and/or does not provide you with proper heating and air conditioning, seek out a professional. Oftentimes, air conditioning repairs can cost more than simply installing a new air conditioning system. Ask and compare prices. If you hear any grinding noises or feel you have an air conditioning refrigerant leak, an air conditioning company will need to come in and do any necessary repairs.
Why is a matched system so important?
A matched system is important for a variety of reasons. One is comfort. When all your components are properly sized to your home, you can control exactly how much heating or cooling you need so you can relax.
Also, a properly sized matched system enables every component to perform as designed, meaning proper cycle times are maintained, humidity is controlled, and system sound is minimized.
Another reason matched systems are important is efficiency. Most systems people buy are too large for their homes, meaning they pay to heat and cool space that isn’t even there. A matched system outlined by a dealer who has completed a load calculation for your home provides just the right amount of heating and cooling you need so you get the most value for your utility dollar.
What are the advantages of units with variable speed fans?
Variable speed fans operate on a simple principle: they are able to spin at different speeds depending on the heating and cooling needs of your home. Usually, they operate at lower speeds, delivering a steady, reliable stream of warm or cool air to your home. This helps control humidity levels, utility costs and system noise. When conditions become more extreme, the fan speed increases so that the system can meet increased demand, guaranteeing that on even the hottest days or coldest nights, you’re comfort needs will be met.
What is a SEER rating and how does it impact my energy costs?
SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Like its "mpg" counterpart in the automotive industry, the SEER gives an indication of the performance efficiency of the system. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit. And, the more efficient the unit, the lower the operating costs.
Experts say that by purchasing a system with a high SEER, you'll use less energy to cool your house, resulting in lower electric bills. In many cases, these savings are enough to partially or fully offset the cost of the new equipment within a few years.
What do all those rating numbers mean?
The federal government requires all air conditioning and heating equipment to be rated for efficiency. The higher the rating, the more efficient the model.
Gas furnaces are rated for AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). This defines the amount of heat used to warm your home from the burned fuel. A 90% furnace will use 90% of the available heat to heat your home. 10% of the heat is vented outdoors. Many older gas furnaces are only 60% efficient. The other 40% is vented outdoors. You can see that a new high-efficiency furnace will require much less fuel to heat your home.
For air conditioning, the rating is SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). This rating is based on general design criteria such as the compressor and outdoor coil. SEER ratings are for comparison purposes only, so that homeowners will know how they can compare different brands of products with similar efficiency ratings. The rating for the outdoor unit will reference a general efficiency range, such as 14 SEER. The actual efficiency rating for a specific system will depend on the combination of the outdoor unit and the indoor coil. These ratings are available from your dealer and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute's Energy Guide. A variable-speed indoor blower unit will increase the efficiency rating of the system, as well.
Heat pumps are rated by SEER for cooling efficiency and by HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) for heating efficiency. As with other ratings, the higher the HSPF, the less energy it will take to warm your home.
I need a new outdoor unit, but my indoor unit works fine. What are the advantages of replacing my whole system at the same time?
We recommend that your replace the indoor coil or air handler when replacing the outdoor unit. Both of these components are integral to the closed refrigerant loop and together determine the capacity and efficiency of your system. If you do not replace the indoor unit, there will be no test data available for the new combination to establish the expected capacity or efficiency of your system. Also, the indoor system may be partially blocked by particles that will decrease efficiency, and you may be faced in the near future with replacing the indoor unit after it fails and having to pay to have the closed refrigerant system opened again. It would be expensive and be another opportunity for contamination. You end up paying more. If your whole system is replaced, you will be less likely to need service in the near future.
What noise factors do I need to consider when selecting an air conditioner or heat pump?
The industry sound rating numbers are complicated and often difficult to understand. Sound rating is just one of these areas. A difference of 6 decibels (such as between 72 dB and 78 dB) is technically a four-fold increase in compressor sound when rating air conditioners or heat pump units. However, it takes a difference of 10 decibels to double the loudness. It is also noted that it takes approximately 3 decibels for the average human ear to discern any difference in loudness at all. In many cases, the sound rating isn't as significant a determiner of sound difference to listeners as is the sound characteristics or quality. One type of sound with a lower sound power rating may be more offensive to a homeowner than another with a higher sound power rating. There are other important considerations, such as location, when considering the effects of sound. Our overall product line offers homeowners significant choices. If your community has specific sound requirements, check with your local HVAC company for recommendations.
How much will my new air conditioning system cost?
That depends. There are many factors that must be considered. These include:
In most cases, replacing your whole system, including both indoor and outdoor components, will result in a more efficient, longer-lasting system but will also cost a little more. As a manufacturer of an installed product, we do not establish retail pricing. Please contact your local HVAC company for equipment recommendations and your total investment based on a load calculation performed on your home.
- The efficiency of the equipment
- The size of your home
- Is the ductwork installed and in good condition?
- Do you need a thermostat or electronic air cleaner?
Will anything help control the humidity in my house?
Humidity is a problem in many areas. The best way to control excessive humidity is to have a system that runs longer at lower speeds. Variable-speed air-handling equipment runs at very low speeds, which keeps the air circulating against the cooling coil and removes much more moisture than conventional systems. At these low speeds, the variable-speed motor also uses much less electricity than conventional motors.
A two-stage outdoor air conditioning unit will operate at a low speed, removing more moisture and allowing greater comfort than a single-stage air conditioning unit.