3 Major Things Every Homeowner Should Know Before Buying an Air Conditioner
The efficiency of the system is determined by its SEER and that is affected by components of the system.
The seasonal energy efficiency ratio or SEER measures how much electricity the system uses that actually is used to reject heat from your home (heat rejected from your home cools it off, that is how things are cooled). It is a ratio of the BTU’s to the energy consumed per hour in Watt’s. The higher the SEER rating the more efficient the system will be.
High SEER Systems
Systems with a high SEER rating give you the most bang for your buck. They typically are a variable speed system that communicates with the thermostat, indoor motor speed, outdoor motor speed and the compressor speed. The systems variable capability with each of those components allows each one to work at the least amount of energy needed to satisfy the temperature your thermostat is set to while efficiently consuming energy.
Lower SEER Systems
Lower SEER systems use less reliable parts and components that don’t communicate. They use more energy to satisfy your thermostat.
There are three kinds of fan motors. ECM, Variable Speed and PSC. The fan will effect the efficiency so its good to understand what comes along with an efficient system versus not efficient.
ECM and Variable Speed
In more efficient systems there are ECM or variable speed motors that use constant torque technology. The constant torque technology allows the fan to blow at a constant speed and allows for better airflow. Basically in a communicating variable speed system the torque will vary depending on what is needed from the thermostat. It will either be higher or lower torque depending on what is needed. However mid range units have ECM motors that operate at different stages, like a 2 or 3 stage.
The less efficient motor used in lower SEER systems operates without constant torque. These fans are less reliable and are simple for manufacturers to make, which is why they are used in cheaper systems. They don’t distribute air efficiently and will eventually wear down because they blow at one speed that is inconsistent due to the design of it.
2.) Quality Of Install and Build Of Unit
The Quality of you air conditioners install job done and what build of unit is very important.
When your having your air conditioner installed the most important thing besides efficiency and everything else is if the contractor is going to deliver a quality install. That is important because if your unit is installed improperly then it will work improperly thus resulting in a life of AC problems. Poor install training and low bid contractors are why air conditioners result in a poor install.
Build of Unit
The build of unit is important because of efficiency, reliability, and durability. The more reliable and durable a unit is the longer of course your unit is going to work. That’s why we recommend Trane because they are a superior AC unit. This factored in with how well the install was done will really effect even if your system is going to work as intended.
3.) Ductwork and Air Distribution
If you dont have adequate air distribution before the install then the ductwork must be addressed as part of the install. The ductwork is important so that air is delivered to you and so that the thermostat is satisfied. There are two solutions if the ductwork is reducing efficiency. Either the ducts need to be replaced and resized or they need to be sealed.
When replacing your system you want to replace your duct work if it is undersized or oversized. Undersized will result in sharp kinks and bends that wont allow for adequte airflow. Oversized ductwork will result in way too much travel for the air and will cause your system to work harder to satisfy you and your thermostat. Too many tares in the duct could also be a reason for replacing.
If the technician sees that your ductwork is a good size but finds that there are leaks, then your going to need a ductseal performed. Ductsealing is typically cheaper and less labor intensive than replacing the ductwork and is a good option as long as the ductwork is properly sized. Our company uses Aeroseal when there are leaks in ductwork. It uses micro-polymer technology to seal the ducts from the inside. A computer controls the process, first the ducts are pressurized so that air blows through the leaks and so that they are found by the computer, then the system sprays in micro-polymers so that your ducts are sealed from the inside.