Today’s air conditioners are quieter, more efficient and more reliable than the units of 10 years ago. With a new air conditioner, you can enjoy cooler and dryer indoor conditions while conserving energy with the highest efficient equipment available. With the development of high efficient compressors, sound reducing components and galvanized steel cabinets with baked-on powder finishes, you can be assured your new unit will prove to be more reliable and durable than your older unit.
R-Value – R-Value is a rating of thermal resistance. Increasing the thickness of an insulating layer increases the thermal resistance (R-value). Adding R-value, however, does not create a true air barrier. Insulation helps your home maintain a consistent temperature – it keeps your home warm during the winter and cool during the summer. There are several common types of insulation — fiberglass (in both batting and blown forms), cellulose, rigid foam board, and spray foam.
When correctly installed with air sealing, each type of insulation can deliver comfort and lower energy bills. Woodman Insulation offers its customers the most innovative and effective insulation products available.
Cool, Calm and Collected – Buying a new central air conditioning system can be a daunting task. There are many features to choose from, and you want to be sure it’s going to deliver the comfort you need since you will have it for the next 16 years.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Consider Comfort – Many air conditioning systems include extra features that will dramatically improve your home’s comfort. Two-stage systems can run at a high and low stage, so they are quieter and provide a better mix of air throughout the home (no hot and cold spots). Also look for compressor sound blankets and swept-wing fan blades to reduce noise. Imagine not having to raise your voice when the air conditioner kicks on.
Buy the Highest SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – or SEER – is a measurement of the efficiency of your cooling system over the course of a cooling season. The higher the SEER rating, the higher the efficiency – and the more dollars you save on utility bills. Systems purchased to prior to 2006 were mostly in the 8 to 10 SEER range. In 2006, the minimum efficiency became 13 SEER. Today, air conditioners such as the Tappan iQ Drive® can be as high as 24.5 SEER.
A 13-SEER system is 30 percent more efficient than a 10-SEER system, and a 24.5 SEER system is 145 percent more efficient than a 10-SEER system.
Know the Type of System You Have – If you have an outdoor section and an indoor section, you have a “split system.” This is the most common type of system. The indoor section is the coil box that sits on top of your gas or oil furnace. (Many homeowners think this is part of the furnace when it is actually the indoor section to the air conditioner.) The furnace blower is used to distribute cool air throughout the home. In very hot southern regions, the indoor section is typically an electric furnace or air handler. This product has the blower and coil inside a single cabinet.
If you do not have an indoor section, you may have a “packaged” air conditioner. Packaged units are found in select regions and can sit next to the house or on the roof. The packaged air conditioner contains the blower and coil components all within the outdoor section and may even provide gas heat or electric strip heat.
Choose Non-ozone Depleting R-410A Refrigerant – Most air conditioners ready for replacement use a refrigerant called R-22. In 2010, the new refrigerant standard became R-410A. R-410A is more environmentally friendly than older refrigerants because it does not deplete the ozone. If you currently have an R-22 system, choosing an R-410A replacement means you may also have to replace your line set and indoor coil, but you will be getting the maximum efficiency out of your new system.
Replace More than Just the Air Conditioner – An air conditioner typically has two components – the outdoor section and the indoor section as described above. It may be tempting to replace only the outdoor section in order to save money. But for your system to achieve the efficiency level you’re paying for, you need to have a matched system that includes a new indoor coil. Otherwise, your new system is only as efficient as your old coil. Also, old indoor components can negatively impact the performance of your air conditioner, and your new system warranty could be canceled if it was not installed with the proper indoor coil or air handler.
Ask About a Heat Pump – Just like an air conditioner, a heat pump cools your home all summer long. But in the fall and early spring, a heat pump can also provide cost-effective electric heat.
Many homeowners are choosing a split-system heat pump over an air conditioner and then pairing it with a gas furnace. This dual-fuel system can save you a lot of money because you heat with electricity when the weather is mild and with gas when the temperatures get colder, so you are always using the most cost-effective fuel source to heat your home.
There are also dual-fuel packaged systems that combine heat pump and gas heat technology in one outdoor unit.
Invest in the Install – With an air conditioning and home heating system, the installation is critical to performance. Make sure you hire a certified contractor who is going to address your duct work and other home needs in addition to replacing the system. A quality installation will cost more initially, but it will save you in problems down the road.