Air Conditioning Units
There are two types of central air conditioners; packaged unit or split system unit.
With the packaged air conditioning units, all the parts of the unit are located in one cabinet; the compressor, evaporator, and condenser usually installed on a concrete slab near the house or on the roof. This unit usually includes a natural gas furnace or electric heating coils, which can eliminate the need for a separate furnace.
With split system air conditioning units, an indoor cabinet holds the evaporator and an outdoor cabinet holds the compressor and condenser. Many units of this type also have a heat pump or furnace included with the indoor cabinet. This unit is very economical to install if your house does not have an air conditioner but already has a furnace.
Buying an energy efficient air conditioner will save money and energy used by the unit. In addition to being more efficient to room air conditioners they are convenient, quiet, and located out of the way. With the frequent changes and improvements in air conditioner design and refrigerants it may likely be better to replace rather than upgrade your existing unit. The best air conditioners today boast 30-50% energy savings, compared to the same level of cooling as air conditioners in the mid 1970’s. With the fast pace of technology, it is even possible to save 20-40% on energy costs by replacing a unit 10 years or older!
It has come to light in recent years that proper duct installation and insulation, location of a.c. unit and adequate weatherization to your home can have a big impact on efficiency. If your unit is too small it won’t be to keep your home cool and comfortable on hotter days. Humidity levels can be a problem with too large of a unit. Proper installation and size of the unit are high priorities when choosing air conditioning units, as well as how to have the unit put into your home in order to achieve the highest efficiency.
For the greatest savings in cost and energy use, an air conditioner with an energy star label and SEER rating of 13 or higher is the best bet. Older systems have a SEER rating of 6 or below. The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rates air conditioners according to this scale.
Doing the research to find the best a.c. unit to meet your needs and finding a qualified and trained HVAC contractor to properly install the unit is the surest way to increase your homes cooling (and heating) efficiency and lower your utility cost in the long term.