Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

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Tired of your window AC unit? Here’s what you need to know about how central AC systems work before you invest in cooling your whole home.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

More than any other technology, air conditioning has changed the way we live and work, and the way we live and work. However, in 1993, only 68 percent of American homes had some form of cooling equipment, such as window air conditioning or central AC systems.

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Now, more than 87 percent of households are equipped. While the number of window AC units has decreased overall, these devices still cool a significant number of homes, especially in the Northeast, despite being noisy and disruptive, and with limited efficiency and cooling capacity. Not to mention the struggle to get in and out twice a year.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

In comparison, the mid-range AC is a huge leap forward in comfort, quiet and above all comfort. Properly sized and installed, a split system (with indoor and outdoor equipment) can cool an entire house well on the hottest days, and it can do so more efficiently than a battalion of window units.

Read this guide to learn about the factors that affect how these systems work. So whether you’re planning to install deep window AC systems and central air from scratch, or investing in an HVAC upgrade, you’ll find useful information to help you make smart decisions.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

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You need a professional who knows these complicated systems. Get quotes from three local HVAC contractors with good reputations and great online reviews. The company you choose may very well maintain your system for years to come.

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Affiliation with Air Conditioning Contractors of America is a plus; An ACCA certification in residential HVAC design is even better. Also, make sure you are happy with the equipment a contractor is selling; Most of them have connections with certain manufacturers.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

Many variables affect the price of the system, including local climate, existing insulation, labor costs, and equipment size and efficiency. Here is a rough estimate of the cost to upgrade a 3 ton residential system in Des Moines, IA to an Energy Star certified and SEER 16 efficient system: $5,000, including installation.

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A typical equipment warranty lasts 10 years. If properly maintained, these systems should last about 15 years before needing to be replaced.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

If a system is about 15 years old and an expensive component, such as an evaporator coil or compressor, has failed, it is probably time for new equipment inside and out. Replacing one but the other will hinder system performance.

Simply put, split cooling systems draw heat from a home with a coolant that circulates between the condenser and the air handler.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

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Supply ducts distribute cold air from the air handler to the rooms of the house. The return ducts return the warm air to the air handler for filtering and cooling. Properly sized, ducts provide air conditioning evenly and quietly throughout the home.

Every room needs at least two of these grills: one connected to the supply pipe and one to the return. Ideally, supply registers should be located at or near the ceiling, and returns should be at or near the floor.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

This internal equipment has an expansion valve that converts the refrigerant to cold liquid that passes through the evaporator coils. A blower pushes air into the coils, which heats the coolant into a gas that returns to the condenser.

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This outdoor equipment takes hot refrigerant gas from the house, compresses it with a compressor and condenses it into a liquid while a fan cools the coils.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

A blower with an electronic converter motor (ECM) increases speed gradually, reduces stress on the engine and consumes less power. In zoned systems, the air flow is reversed to avoid concerns about static pressure build-up in frozen coils or ducts. Combined with an inverter controlled compressor (below), this helps smooth out temperature fluctuations and reduce humidity.

Not long ago, all AC compressors ran at one speed, depending on how much cooling was needed. The result: high operating costs, large temperature fluctuations and flexible indoor air due to poor moisture removal.

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Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

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Two-speed compressors did a better job, but the real breakthrough in performance came with the advent of the inverter-controlled compressor, which changes its speed to meet the changing cooling demand. The temperature stays closer to the thermostat setting and the system removes more moisture from the air.

“Beware of installers who determine the cooling capacity of your new system based on a rule of thumb, or ‘as you had it’. All they have to do is manually calculate J load, which determines the size of the system based on the local climate and orientation of the windows, and insulation levels, among other things, etc. ‘.Without manual J, you can end up with a system that’s bigger and more expensive than you need, that’s expensive to operate and turns on and off so much that you can’t get the humidity up to a comfortable level.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

Despite its name, a heat pump is capable of cooling and heating homes. The equipment looks like a straight AC system, and works the same way in the summer. In winter, the cooling flow reverses and brings the heat inside. Heat pumps are suitable for climates with hot summers and cold winters (not cold). Highly efficient, they can dramatically reduce annual heating and cooling costs.

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The seasonal energy efficiency ratio indicates how well a system converts electricity (Watts) into cooling (Btus) during a typical cooling season. The higher the number, the better the efficiency. Now, units sold in the northern states have a minimum SEER of 13; In the southern states, 14. Currently, the highest SEER for a split system is 26.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

The energy efficiency ratio is the amount of cooling a system provides per watt, minus the seasonal average. In hot, dry climates, 12.2 is the minimum EER for units 3.5 tons or less.

Identifies equipment with a SEER of 15 or higher. This designation is often required for a system to receive tax and service discounts.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

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It measures the cooling capacity of a system: the number of Btu removed per hour (12,000) to prevent a ton of ice from melting in one day. Most housing units are rated for 3 tons.

The minimum efficiency reporting value rates how effective a filter is at capturing dust, bacteria and odors. The larger it is, the more particles the filter can remove from the air.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

Zone systems direct cold air to individual rooms and floors, providing greater comfort and efficiency than a single zone system can provide.

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In most homes, a thermostat controls the temperature in all parts of the house. But single-zone systems, as they’re called, can’t respond unless remote rooms are hot, freezing cold or unoccupied. These problems can be solved by creating separate zones where additional thermostats work with mechanical dampers to direct the air to where it is needed.

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Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

Done right, zoning provides unparalleled comfort from room to room and cuts electricity bills by 30 percent. Done wrong, it can lead to clogged registers, frozen evaporator coils, shorter equipment life and higher power usage. Using special equipment like the ones below helps prevent these problems.

At the command of a thermostat, a motor opens and closes a metal sheet, fully or partially, to control the amount of air entering the area. A central hub controls airflow throughout the system to prevent static pressure build-up.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

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This battery-powered pad opens and closes in response to phone-enabled sensors that determine the temperature in each room. Sensors and registers work together to maintain optimal system airflow.

Programmable thermostats automatically raise or lower the temperature at preset times. A 10 degree setback for 8 hours can achieve savings of up to 10 percent. Good for households with predictable schedules, but many people don’t schedule anyway.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

Thanks to our motion detection occupancy sensors and geofencing functions, these devices reset temperatures automatically, saving up to 15 percent on cooling. They are mobile phone enabled so you can control and adjust them remotely.

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They have many of the features of a smart thermostat, but these proprietary devices also communicate with the company’s equipment to maximize dehumidification, air quality, and system efficiency, tasks that traditional smart stats can’t accomplish.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

Adding AC to a home that already has ductwork is pretty easy. But when you need new pipes, you have three types to choose from.

Disadvantages: needs an internal coating to prevent the release of fiberglass pieces during cleaning or when its binders break. However, liners trap dust and allow bacteria and moisture to penetrate the fiberglass. Costs more than flexible pipe, less than tin.

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

When To Replace Your Central Air Conditioning Unit

This large version of a dryer tube has a vinyl skin held in place by a spiral thread. Available in 25 meter lengths.

Advantages: bends easily. Comes insulated up to R-8. The only links are on the side

Air Conditioning And Heating Unit Best Replacement

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