Two of the most important components of good central air conditioners are its efficiency and capacity to cool. Also, a product that complies with the guidelines of the US Environmental Protection Agency should be purchased. For instance, there will be a gradual phase out of Freon or R22 which has been the chosen refrigerant thus far. It is being replaced by R4-10A because this refrigerant has less ozone-depleting qualities. This change will affect many customers so it’s advised that if central air conditioners are more than 12 years old, they should be replaced.
The preference is to purchase a product which has a combined heating and cooling system. If only purchasing one system, then the other system should be fairly new -- otherwise, the efficiency will be compromised when connecting the new system to the old one. Also, the level of insulation, duct sealing, type of windows and regular maintenance all play a major role in the upkeep and care of your system.
Central Air Conditioner Maintenance
Maintenance of central air conditioners is critical and it’s best to have it done on a regular basis rather than waiting for something to go wrong. A technician should do the maintenance check since much is involved with this process. However, it’s helpful to know that proper maintenance includes checking thermostat settings and controls, tightening all electrical connections, lubrication of all parts, cleaning and adjusting blower components and checking refrigerant levels. Besides checking to make sure all parts are functioning properly, the product should be checked for buildup of dirt and debris in the coils. Homeowners should do their part by changing air filters at least once a month.
Repair or New Installation?
It’s fairly easy to determine when central air conditioner and heating systems need work or replacement: if your home is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, it’s safe to say something needs to be done! If all that’s necessary is the replacement of certain non-working parts, then you can breathe a sigh of relief and pay a moderate price for the repair job. However, if the compressor and condenser coils are the problem, it’s likely a new system will be needed.
Good contractors will give your home a comprehensive evaluation so they can determine exactly what you need. After the evaluation, they should be able to show you the advantage of purchasing a certain system by calculating your savings according to performance, rebates, warranties and any discounts given.
Besides the need to purchase central air conditioners with an efficient cooling capacity, ultimately, the goal is to reduce the utility bill over time. The best way to do this is to purchase an efficient system while making sure the house is properly insulated (most common areas are around windows, doors and attics). If the ducts in the unit aren’t properly sealed, then as much as 20% of the heating and air can escape resulting in higher utility bills because the system has to work harder and run longer to reach the desired comfort levels.