Has one half of your split air-conditioning system seen its last days? If either the outside condensing unit or inside evaporator/air handler are fried, you’ll likely be tempted to just replace the unit that’s no long working. However, in most cases, especially if your split air-conditioning system is relatively old, the best choice is to go with an entirely new system. This way, you’ll be assured that the two sides of the A/C will work together the way they were designed. Your reliable HVAC contractor will help you through this process, saving a lot of grief and expenses down the line.
Why is it so important for system components to work together?
When you install a split air-conditioning system as a package, its indoor and outdoor units have been crafted to work together in order to achieve the highest possible performance levels. Replacing one unit of your system without ensuring that it’s 100 percent compatible with your remaining component likely will result in problems ranging from poor efficiency to a total breakdown.
What should be considered when matching split system units?
In order for a split air-conditioning system to run properly, both sides should have the same efficiency ratings and utilize the same refrigerant. Here’s why:
- Efficiency ratings – Today’s air conditioners are required to have a minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 13. If your current equipment has a lower rating, you won’t be able to find a compatible match. Installing a high-SEER component to work with a lower-SEER unit will not raise the efficiency of the system, but rather, will put excessive strain on your equipment. This results in a loss of system capacity and could lead to costly repairs.
- Refrigerant – The R-22 refrigerant that’s used by your existing equipment is being phased out and replaced by EPA-approved R-410A. Unfortunately, A/C components will only work properly with the refrigerant they were designed to work with. This means that whether you use R-22 or R-410A, one of the A/C components won’t be engineered to work with that refrigerant formula. Attempting to install a component with R-410A into your R-22-dependent system will reduce efficiency, and could lead to the premature failure of your equipment.
Ultimately, taking the time to performance-match your equipment will result in boosted efficiency, a longer equipment lifespan, and could even help you to earn utility rebates or federal tax credits.
For more advice on replacing your split air-conditioning system, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling. We serve residents of the Greater Portland area.
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 split air-conditioning systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock