CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONERS
Central air conditioners circulate cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and registers (i.e., openings in the walls, floors, or ceilings covered by grills) carry cooled air from the air conditioner to the home. This cooled air becomes warmer as it circulates through the home, then it flows back to the central air conditioner through return ducts and registers.
Central air systems are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). SEER indicates the amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output. Many older systems have a SEER of 6 or less. Today the minimum SEER allowed is 13. The higher the SEER rating, the greater the energy savings will be.
Today’s central air conditioning systems use 30% - 50% less energy than systems made in the 1970s. If your system is over 10 years old, you could save 20% -40% on cooling costs by replacing your system with a newer, more efficient model. The average central air system will last approximately 15 – 20 years.
Types of Central Air Conditioners:
In a split system, an outdoor metal cabinet contains a condensor and a compressor, and an indoor cabinet contains the evaporator. In many split systems, the indoor cabinet also contains a furnace or heat pump. If your home has a furnace heating system, a split air conditioning system would be the most economical to install.
In a packaged central air conditioner, the evaporator, condensor and compressor are all located in one cabinet, which is placed on a roof or on a concrete slab next to the home’s foundation. Air supply and return ducts connect from the home’s interior through an exterior wall or roof to connect with the unit, which is usually located outdoors.