It may be time for an A/C replacement, but rather than buying the first unit you see, first think about a few factors pertaining to air conditioner quality. The size, efficiency rating and installation procedure are important considerations when looking for a new unit.
- Types – Air conditioners fall into two categories: split systems and packaged systems. With a split-system central air unit, the condenser and the compressor are located within an outdoor metal cabinet. The evaporator is located in an indoor cabinet that may also house the indoor section of a heat pump or your furnace. A packaged unit means the condenser, compressor and evaporator are within the same cabinet, which is usually situated on a concrete slab next to your home or the roof.
- Upgrading your current unit – You may be looking into A/C replacement as an upgrade to your current system. If you’re deciding whether to make the switch from room units to central air, what you need in terms of ductwork is usually the deciding factor. Should you already have a central unit, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model.
- Sizing and installation – Other factors to consider include the size of the unit and the installation process. A unit that’s too big won’t relieve humidity as it should, while one that’s too small won’t be able to create a comfortable environment on severely hot days. Correct duct installation, insulation and unit location must also factor in.
- Efficiency – A/C replacement should include a high-efficiency unit, with central Energy Star-rated systems rated with a minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 13. Old units usually have ratings of 6 or less.
- Extra features: When looking for an A/C replacement, aim for one that functions quietly and features a high-temperature rating of 11.6 or greater. A fan-only switch for adjusting the temperature at night and an air filter check light are also optional features.
For more expert advice on A/C replacement, contact the pros at Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the Portland area since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C replacement and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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