According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, nearly 90 percent of new homes built in the USA include central air conditioning. Air conditioning has become a necessity to control indoor temperatures for those us living in “modern” society, especially for those with allergies or asthma.
Some areas of the country, like the northeast, tend to use window air conditioners, probably because of the milder summer temperatures up there. In the Canal Winchester/Central Ohio area, most of us prefer a whole-house air conditioning system (also called central air).
The reason why most people are opting for this is that the central air keeps the temperature of the entire home at a comfortable level as it filters and dehumidifies the air. It’s relatively easy to install air conditioning in a new build, but you can also add central air in an existing structure.
Following are tips to choose and install the best air conditioning system for your home or business.
Many people buy an air conditioner that is too large, thinking it will provide better cooling. However, an oversized air conditioner is actually less effective — and wastes energy at the same time. To find the right size, figure the square footage of the area to be cooled. Then, using the square footage and the chart below, determine the correct cooling capacity. Cooling capacity is measured in British thermal units (BTUs) per hour.
|Area To Be Cooled
(BTUs per hour)
|100 up to 150||5,000|
|150 up to 250||6,000|
|250 up to 300||7,000|
|300 up to 350||8,000|
|350 up to 400||9,000|
|400 up to 450||10,000|
|450 up to 550||12,000|
|550 up to 700||14,000|
|700 up to 1,000||18,000|
|1,000 up to 1,200||21,000|
|1,200 up to 1,400||23,000|
|1,400 up to 1,500||24,000|
|1,500 up to 2,000||30,000|
|2,000 up to 2,500||34,000|
You might need to make adjustments for the following circumstances:
(chart and tips courtesy of Energy Star here.)
Air conditioning units are available in various sizes, rated by BTU, so carefully pick the size that you think would be the best for your home. Remember, that the machine would not be able to properly dehumidify air if it’s too large for its purpose. If you prefer to have a professional determine the right size AC unit for your home around Canal Winchester, contact us.
The next important thing to look into is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. The technology has improved, and energy efficiency has also improved as a result. New air conditioners must have a SEER rating of 13, but a rating of only 7 or 8 was enough for AC units installed a couple of decades ago.
You can actually save quite a lot on your electricity bills if you replace your old and ineffective air conditioner with a new central air conditioning system. In fact, you can expect to save more than $500 a year with the higher SEER rating, which has gone up to 13 from 11.5. To get the latest in energy efficiency, consider a compressor with “Scroll technology”.
The American Council for Energy Efficient Economy recommends a SEER rating of at least 14.5.
The “Energy Star” rating is another criteria which your central air conditioner should have. This is basically a certificate to indicate that the equipment consumes less energy than other models. The new models obviously consume a lot less than the machines dating back a couple of years. See more here.
Energy Star maintains a directory of products that you can browse. Many of the products Pickerington Heating offers are included in that directory.
We all know that’s the mantra for buying real estate, but it’s also relevant to installation of an air conditioning unit’s outdoor component. This is important because it would not be able to ventilate air properly if it is installed under a deck, or is covered up by plants. These units can sometimes be noisy, so keep them far from your deck or your patio, or any place where you want to enjoy quiet. If the unit becomes excessively noisy, give us a call to troubleshoot the problem. It might just need cleaning or routine maintenance.
To maintain your system’s efficiency, consider purchasing a service agreement to receive priority service and regular system checkups. Download a proper maintenance checklist from the 2 Degree Pledge campaign Web site. The 2 Degree Pledge campaign is an effort by a group of utilities, trade associations and nonprofits to educate consumers about how to optimize their residential heating and cooling systems’ efficiencies, without compromising their comfort.
The information below applies to qualified products installed from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2013. On January 2, 2013, President signed legislation extending the following tax credits through December 31, 2013.
The efficiency levels required reflect the highest tier of the CEE High-efficiency Specification for Residential HVAC Systems as of January 1, 2009. Please note: Equipment must meet all performance specifications for its category. For example, a tax-credit eligible central air conditioner must have stated performance ratings of 13 EER and 16 SEER.
To sum it all up: by installing a new central air conditioning unit in your home, you’ll be more comfortable, you’ll use less energy, you’ll save money and get a tax credit. What could be better in beautiful Canal Winchester, Ohio?