When your home air conditioning stops working properly, choosing a new system that meets your specific needs is vital in meeting your goal of perfect cooling in every room! Central Air Conditioning is also one of the most expensive improvements you’re likely to make, so it pays to do your homework and choose wisely. The following tips are about whole-house air conditioning (Central AC), not single-room units or heat pumps. Unlike window, portable, or in-the-wall single room air conditioners, a Central AC system distributes conditioned air throughout the entire house. Covenant Heating & Air Conditioning is the exclusive Pekin, Peoria, East Peoria and Lincoln area dealer for Goodman™ and Carrier® Central AC.
Why consult with a professional HVAC contractor like Covenant?
- There is no simple answer to the question, “What size air conditioner do I need?” – so, getting a professional assessment is critical. A professional understands the variables to properly assess what your home needs, performing the cooling load calculations necessary for proper AC system sizing. A professional also represents and offers trusted, quality products and handles installation and service. You will enjoy an efficient, dependable new Central AC system featuring better comfort-control and energy-efficiency.
- However, having your own basic understanding of some of the principles behind Central AC system sizing and the reasons why it’s so important will be helpful when considering a new system for your home.
- When it comes to the size of your home air conditioner, bigger is not necessarily better. Equipping your space with a larger system with too many tons of cooling capacity not only uses more energy than necessary, but an oversized Central AC system could also cycle on and off too quickly without adequately removing humidity from the air, leaving you feeling cool but damp.
- Conversely, a Central AC system that’s too small for your space will work overtime trying to cool the space, consuming more energy without fully doing the job.
- A properly sized Central AC system matched to the unique needs of your home will not only keep you comfortable, but it can also help you save on your energy bills.
Central AC with time-tested energy-efficient technology offers:
Energy efficiency - for tremendous savings on electricity bills.
- The SEER Rating - the U.S. Department of Energy established minimum efficiency standards for air conditioners. Every AC unit is given an efficiency rating, called a SEER— short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.
- The SEER is listed on the yellow Energy Guide® label posted on each unit. It’s very important to look at these ratings. The higher the number the more efficient the unit and the less it will cost to provide cooling.
- During the past decade, the minimum SEER rating required of new units has continued to rise.
- Though old air conditioners may have a SEER as low as 6, models manufactured after January 2006, must have a SEER of at least 13. The most efficient models have SEER ratings of 15 to 17. A SEER of 13 is 30% more efficient than a SEER of 10.
- To achieve particularly high SEER ratings - air conditioners may have any number of energy-saving features.
- Large coils for more efficient heat transfer.
- A high temperature rating (EER) greater than 11.6 and a thermal expansion valve. When the weather is hottest, this translates to high-efficiency operation.
- A variable-speed blower to reduce electricity consumption, tailoring the usage to the need.
- A fan-only switch. This allows you to turn off the cooling but leave the fan running to circulate air for more natural, affordable cooling.
- An automatic delay fan switch, which keeps the fan on long enough to utilize residual cool air that remains after the compressor turns off.
- A filter indicator light that lets you know when the filter needs changing. This boosts efficiency by ensuring proper maintenance.
Other technology – valuable and offered on today’s systems.
- Factory-installed filter driers – these driers play a pivotal role in the operation of air conditioning and refrigeration systems. A factory installed filter-drier absorbs and filters residual system contaminants and moisture.
- Contactors with lugs - lugs provide an easy and secure method of connecting the main power wires to the unit.
- Louvered coil guards- protect the coil from damage from things such as sticks, lawn equipment and hail. The louvered design provides enhanced protection for condenser coils when compared to wire guard frames.
Choosing the right service provider for your Central AC
Central AC check-ups ensure your cooling comfort. Choosing a service provider like Covenant, servicing over 5,000 property owners, provides you with peace of mind that you can count on service with integrity and commitment. Look for a service provider (like Covenant) who also offers service maintenance packages!
Understanding Central AC system warranties
Central AC system warranties are key to ensuring that your system will last for many years. However, before purchasing your system, read its warranty and be sure you understand the terms and restrictions. Central AC system warranties can vary significantly from one manufacturer to another. A warranty may cover most of the unit under one set of terms or offer differing coverage on various parts. So, read them carefully and understand what they do and do not cover. Also be advised that a warranty will be void if the AC is worked on by a non-authorized service person and that it does not cover standard maintenance, cleaning, or damage that is caused by neglecting maintenance. With many manufacturers, parts may be covered, but the labor for replacing such parts as the motor, solenoid, relays, switches, and fans may not be covered by warranty. Read the fine print.
These tips will help you select a professional Central AC provider to design a cooling system to meet the needs of your home within your budget. Financing is often available if needed. Covenant Heating & Air Conditioning ensures you understand the components of the air conditioning system designed for you, including all aspects of the outdoor units and the refrigeration lines. They can also help you save money with a new system or a system upgrade with programs like Ameren's incentive program for Illinois residents.