Looking For An Air Conditioner Upgrade? Basic Terms To Grow Your Understanding

by Greg Leisgang on June 25, 2012

Posted in: Air Conditioners

air conditioner upgrade boosts energy efficiency, Cincinnati, OhioIf you are like many homeowners in Greater Cincinnati, you would probably like to cut your energy usage and save money on utility bills. If so, one good place to start is with an air conditioner upgrade.

Heating and cooling your home's indoor air generally consumes more than half of the average household's energy budget, and that percentage can be even higher if you have old or faulty A/C equipment. So it makes sense that upgrading an old, inefficient system will result in improved energy costs.

But you need to do some homework before you make a purchase. Familiarize yourself with these terms before you contact your local HVAC expert: 

  • SEER -- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio tells you how well an A/C can convert fuel to cooling power over the course of a typical year. A high-efficiency model with a SEER rating of 16 or higher will get you the best return on investment in terms of energy savings.
  • EER -- The Energy Efficiency Ratio is similar to SEER, but it relates to the efficiency of the unit during the hottest months of the year. Look for an 11.6 or better during these times when the A/C operates near capacity.
  • Cooling load -- The cooling load is the maximum amount of conditioned air required to cool your home. It factors in the size of your home, the efficiency of your ducts, vents, windows, doors and other key aspects of your system.
  • Air handler --This component moves conditioned air into your home's ductwork, and variable-speed units provide better comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Compressor -- This component resides in the exterior unit and controls the refrigerant and, therefore, the temperature of the air. Two-stage cooling systems use a compressor that can run at a high and low speed, and it chooses just the right speed as the temperature demands.
  • HVAC -- HVAC is an acronym for "Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning." Your contractor will use this as a catch-all term for the entire system. 

Once you understand these terms, you're ready to have an intelligent conversation about your air conditioner upgrade. For expert advice when upgrading, contact JonLe Heating & Cooling. Serving Greater Cincinnati-area homeowners.  

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