Air Conditioning

Central air conditioners efficiently circulate cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. As the cooled air moves through the home, it gradually warms up and then returns to the air conditioner.

Understanding SEER Ratings:

  • Definition: SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) measures the energy required for a specific cooling output.
  • Comparison:
    • Older systems typically have a SEER of 6 or less.
    • The current minimum SEER requirement is 13.
  • Benefits: A higher SEER rating offers significant energy savings.

Evolution of Energy Efficiency:

  • Today’s central air conditioning systems are 30% – 50% more energy-efficient than those produced in the 1970s.
  • Systems over 10 years old: Upgrading to a newer model can result in 20% – 40% savings on cooling costs.
  • Lifespan: On average, a central air system lasts between 15 and 20 years.

Types of Central Air Conditioners:

  1. Split-Systems:
    • Components:
      • Outdoor: Contains the condenser and compressor.
      • Indoor: Houses the evaporator. It might also include a furnace or heat pump.
    • Advantage: If you have a furnace heating system, a split-system would be the most cost-effective installation option.
  2. Packaged Units:
    • Description: This unit combines the evaporator, condenser, and compressor all within one cabinet.
    • Placement: Typically positioned on a roof or a concrete slab adjacent to the home’s foundation. Air supply and return ducts connect the home’s interior to this unit.
    • Location: These units are generally placed outdoors.

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