What the freon phase-out in full effect, most homeowners in the Frederick area, and across the United States, are having to deal with the reality of not being able to cost-effectively repair their older model air conditioners this year.
As freon becomes less and less readily available, it makes more sense for every homeowner or business owner in the Frederick area to consider replacing their older model central air conditioner with a newer system.
If you’ve been thinking about replacing your central air conditioner, this article will provide you with several tips that you can use for choosing the right system.
Important Factors for Choosing Central AC
A synonym for the air conditioner’s cooling capacity, size is measured in British thermal units per hour (Btu/hr.) or in “tons.” One ton of cooling equals 12,000 Btu/hr. For sizing guidance, check the Energy Star website.
This describes how much cooling the unit delivers for each watt of electricity. Efficiency is expressed as the seasonal energy-efficiency rating or SEER. The minimum SEER for a split-system central air conditioner allowed today is 14, so look for units with SEER ratings of 15 or greater. The higher the SEER, the more you can lower your energy costs.
A service plan that combines regular inspections with discounts on repairs and a labor warranty is worth negotiating into the overall price. Prices for such a service vary widely.
Proper use of a programmable thermostat can reduce your cooling costs by about 10 percent. And using a box or ceiling fan, which costs little to run, can make you feel 3° F to 4° F cooler.
Upgrading an existing system
If you’re upgrading your central air, don’t assume you should buy the same-sized system. Any changes you’ve made to improve your home’s energy efficiency, such as upgrading your windows or adding insulation, can reduce your cooling needs. On the other hand, if you’ve added rooms, you might need more cooling.
Have your contractor do a load calculation based on a recognized method, such as one in Manual J from the ACCA. The contractor’s evaluation should include whether your ducts need to be resized, sealed and insulated, or replaced. Remember that an indoor evaporator coil and outdoor condenser must be a matched set from the same brand, or the performance, efficiency, and capacity might not meet expectations.
New systems are 20 to 40 percent more efficient than minimum-efficiency models made even 10 years ago. Costs will vary and can depend on whether you need duct work installed, and the particular size and configuration of your home.
Source – Consumer Reports
Contact Dave’s Cooling and Heating
For more information on choosing the right air conditioner, or to learn more about the other services that we can offer you contact us today by calling (301) 401-2780 or click here to connect with us online.