Central AC: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Eyman on April 7th, 2021

Central air conditioning conditioners distribute cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and signs up (i.e., openings in the walls, floors, or ceilings covered by grills) bring cooled air from the ac system to the house. This cooled air becomes warmer as it flows through the home; then it recedes to the main air conditioner through return ducts and registers.

A/c help to dehumidify the incoming air, however in very damp climates or in cases where the air conditioning unit is large, it might not achieve a low humidity. Running a dehumidifier in your air conditioned home will increase your energy use, both for the dehumidifier itself and due to the fact that the air conditioning system will require more energy to cool your home. A preferable option is a dehumidifying heat pipe, which can be included as a retrofit to most existing systems.

If you have a central air system in your home, set the fan to shut off at the very same time as the compressor, which is typically done by setting the "auto" mode on the fan setting. In other words, do not use the system's main fan to supply air flow-- use flowing fans in specific spaces.

Kinds Of Central Air Conditioners

A main air conditioner is either a split-system system or a packaged unit.

In a split-system central air conditioner, an outdoor metal cabinet consists of the condenser and compressor, and an indoor cabinet consists of the evaporator. In numerous split-system air conditioning system, this indoor cabinet also includes a heater or the indoor part of a heat pump. The air conditioner's evaporator coil is set up in the cabinet or main supply duct of this heater or heat pump. If your house already has a furnace but no a/c, a split-system is the most cost-effective central air conditioner to set up.

In a packaged main air conditioner, the evaporator, condenser, and compressor are all located in one cabinet, which normally is put on a roofing or on a concrete slab next to your house's structure. This type of air conditioning unit likewise is used in small industrial buildings. Air supply and return ducts come from indoors through the home's outside wall or roofing to connect with the packaged ac system, which is usually situated outdoors. Packaged ac system typically include electrical heating coils or a gas furnace. This combination of air conditioning system and main heater gets rid of the need for a different heater inside.

Picking or Updating Your Central Air Conditioner

Central air conditioners are more efficient than room a/c unit. In addition, they are out of the method, quiet, and practical to run. To save energy and money, you ought to shop an energy-efficient a/c and minimize your central air conditioning conditioner's energy use. In an average air-conditioned house, a/c consumes more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electrical power annually, triggering power plants to emit about 3,500 pounds of co2 and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide.

If you are considering including main air conditioning to your house, the deciding aspect might be the requirement for ductwork.

If you have an older main air conditioner, you may choose to change the outside compressor with a modern-day, high-efficiency unit. If you do so, seek advice from a regional heating and cooling specialist to ensure that the new compressor is appropriately matched to the indoor unit. Considering current changes in refrigerants and air conditioning designs, it might be smarter to change the entire system.

Today's finest ac system use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as a/c unit made in the mid 1970s. Even if your air conditioning unit is only 10 years old, you might save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy expenses by replacing it with a newer, more effective design.

Proper sizing and installation are crucial elements in figuring out ac system performance. Too large a system will not adequately eliminate humidity. Too small a system will not be able to obtain a comfy temperature on the most popular days. Incorrect unit area, absence of insulation, and improper duct setup can greatly decrease efficiency.

When purchasing an air conditioner, search for a model with a high efficiency. Central air conditioners are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). SEER shows the relative quantity of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output. Lots of older systems have SEER rankings of 6 or less.

If your a/c is old, consider purchasing an energy-efficient design. Search for the ENERGY STAR ® and EnergyGuide labels-- competent central units are about 15% more effective than standard designs. New residential central air conditioning conditioner requirements went into impact on January 1, 2015; see the effectiveness standards for central air conditioning conditioners for information, and consider purchasing a system with a greater SEER than the minimum for greater savings.

The standards do not require you to change your existing central air conditioning units, and replacement parts and services should still be readily available for your house's systems. The "life expectancy" of a main air conditioner is about 15 to twenty years. Producers usually continue to support existing devices by making replacement parts offered and honouring upkeep contracts after the new basic enters into result.

Other functions to try to find when buying an a/c consist of:

- A thermal expansion valve and a high-temperature score (EER) higher than 11.6, for high-efficiency operation when the weather is at its hottest

- A variable speed air handler for brand-new ventilation systems

- A system that operates silently

- A fan-only switch, so you can use the unit for nighttime ventilation to substantially minimize air-conditioning expenses

- A filter check light to remind you to inspect the filter after a fixed variety of operating hours

- An automatic-delay fan switch to shut off the fan a few minutes after the compressor shuts off.

Setup and Location of Air Conditioners

If your air conditioner is set up properly, or if significant setup issues are discovered and repaired, it will perform efficiently air conditioning maintenance for many years with only small routine upkeep. Many air conditioners are not set up properly. As a regrettable outcome, modern energy-efficient a/c can carry out nearly as badly as older inefficient designs.

When setting up a brand-new central air system, make sure that your contractor:

- Enables adequate indoor area for the installation, upkeep, and repair of the new system, and installs an access door in the furnace or duct to provide a way to clean up the evaporator coil

- Utilizes a duct-sizing method such as the A/c Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual D.

- Makes sure there are enough supply signs up to deliver cool air and adequate return air signs up to carry warm house air back to the a/c.

- Installs duct within the conditioned area, not in the attic, anywhere possible.

- Seals all ducts with duct mastic and greatly insulates attic ducts.

- Finds the condensing system where its noise will not keep you or your neighbours awake during the night, if possible.

- Locates the condensing system where no close-by items will block airflow to it.

- Validates that the recently set up ac system has the specific refrigerant charge and air flow rate specified by the producer.

- Locates the thermostat away from heat sources, such as windows or supply signs up.

If you are replacing an older or stopped working split system, make certain that the evaporator coil is changed with a brand-new one that exactly matches the condenser coil in the new condensing unit. (The a/c unit's effectiveness will likely not improve if the existing evaporator coil is left in location; in fact, the old coil might trigger the new compressor to stop working prematurely.).

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