Choosing Your AC System
What to keep in mind when you are looking for a new unit
As the temperatures outside continue to climb, you may be wondering if your current air conditioning system will be able to keep up. If you have followed through with an air conditioning unit inspection and are told it is time to invest in a new system, Commercial Service would like to give you a bit of background knowledge so you are thoroughly prepared on your search.
Types of AC units for homes
There are various types of air conditioning units on the market, so you should be aware of the differences between each of the categories.
Portable air conditioners
The portable AC unit consists of a mobile, self-contained unit that is placed on the floor inside of a room, and discharges exhaust heat using a hose vent through an exterior wall or window vent. These units are a bit nosier than other units, and are typically only suited for room sless than 500 square feet in size. Because this unit operates inside, the evaporator fan runs constantly to get rid of condensed moisture that collects within the unit. This means that you will not risk moisture turning into a puddle under the unit, like you could face with a window unit.
Just like a portable ac unit, all of the components of the window air conditioner are inside of the box. This unit is placed in a window, where it will eject the hot exhaust to the outdoors, while injecting cool air into the room. Window air conditioners come in many sizes, with some being able to cool an entire flloor. If you choose one or two larger window units, it is best that your home is one story, and fairly smaller in square footage.
Split/ductless ac units
The split – a.k.a. ductless – system is technically called a “packages terminal air conditioner” (PTAC). While they exist in homes, they are more common in buildings like hotels and apartments. The split system breaks the air conditioning system into two terminals, with one being inside while the other is outside. A conduit that houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain, links the terminals. These systems are fairly small, and simple to install. Many models nowadays are also able to have up to four rooms connected to one unit. The advantage of this is that each room’s system will have its own thermostat, so you may manually control individual rooms’ temperatures.
Central air conditioning
A central air conditioning system is the premium option for your home. It is the most quiet, performs the best, and can create maximum comfort in your home. The main worry with a central AC unit is making sure you choose a system that is appropriately sized for your home. If it is too large, you run the risk of it not adequately dehumidifying your home, and if it runs too small, your home will not be thoroughly cooled. There is also more maintenance that needs to happen with this system, since it is more complex than other options. There are three main parts: a condenser, an evaporator, and a compressor. Once warm air inside your home blows across the indoor evaporator coil, its heat energy transfers to the refrigerant inside the coil. This transfer cools the air down. The heat absorbed by the refrigerant is moved outside your home while cooled air is blown inside.
What to consider before you buy a new air conditioner
A Commercial Service technician is trained to look out for numerous identifiers that can help guide you on how to choose an air conditioning system that complements your home. But, if you would prefer to start the search on your own, there are a three factors you can look out for.
Size is measured in the form of British thermal units per hour (Bthu/hr) or tons. This is basically official jargon for the air conditioner’s cooling capacity. For more guidance, use this Energy Star calculator.
The efficiency describes how much cooling the unit delivers per each watt of electricity. This was formerly measured and expressed as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), and is now the Integrated Energy Efficiency Ratio (IEER). The higher the rating, the more efficient the system is.
Depending on the system you choose, your maintenance requirements will vary. However, a service plan that combines regular inspections with discounts on repairs and a warranty is worth negotiating into the overall price.
Choosing an air conditioner and having our trusted technicians install it is easy with our Online Scheduling platform. Schedule your appointment online or call 812-339-9114.