A typical home cooling system is called a split system because part of the equipment is indoors, and part is located outside. The outside equipment is the air conditioner, and contrary to popular belief, the air conditioner does not cool air! It compresses refrigerant which rids the refrigerant of heat absorbed from the inside air. The chilled refrigerant is then send inside via small pipes to either a furnace or air handler (also called a fan coil).
You might not have known that you needed your furnace even in the summer time. This is because the fan in a furnace is used to circulate air through your entire home via ductwork regardless of the season. As the air cycles, it blows through what is called an evaporator coil. When air conditioning is on, the evaporator coils contain the chilled refrigerant which cools and dehumidifies the passing air. The cooled and dehumidified air is then sent into the rest of the house.
Some homes use a heat pump instead of a furnace, due to our mild climate. A heat pump is basically an air conditioner that can heat the refrigerant in addition to chilling it. So in the winter, everything happens the same, except heated refrigerant is sent inside instead of chilled refrigerant. When using a heat pump, the inside unit housing the fan is called a fan coil or air handler.
An air conditioner is electric powered as is the fan inside, which means that cooling hits the electric bill entirely. Cooling efficiency is measured using a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). A higher SEER rating means higher efficiency and lower utility bills. Manufacturers are continually improving the efficiency of units without sacrificing performance. From twin cylinder technology to variable speen fans, to UV lamps for evaporator coil efficiency.
Efficiency: To help you compare air conditioning units, cooling efficiency is rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), with high numbers indicating high efficiency. Watch Video
Comfort: Consider models with the QuietDrive™ Comfort System - a combination of fan and unit features that meet your comfort needs more efficiently and quietly. Watch Video
To help you make informed decisions about how to save energy, several rating systems have been developed.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating measures the efficiency of central air conditioners or heat pump usage over a theoretical cooling season.
It's a simple ratio of the amount of cooling provided by the air conditioner - as measured in BTUs - with the amount of energy the central system consumes - measured in watts/hr. So if you see a system rated at 16 SEER, that actually means it produces 16 BTUs per watt-hour.
But remember, a SEER number is theoretical. Your usage patterns - as well as proper equipment sizing and installation - will determine actual efficiency.
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EnergyGuide label: Manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment are required to display the EnergyGuide label. This label estimates how much energy the equipment uses, compares energy use of similar products, and gives approximate annual operating costs. Your exact costs will depend on local utility rates and the type and source of your energy.
ENERGY STAR® certification: ENERGY STAR® is a voluntary energy awareness program developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Our high-efficiency systems are labeled ENERGY STAR to identify products that are at least 15% more efficient than standard products.
Appreciate technicians, Poncho and assistant, for solving the problem with the air conditioner unit. It's not comfortable working in a hot attic, but they made sure the unit was working properly. Great service and thanks Amanda in the office.