Home Air Conditioning Unit



Are you in the process of selecting a new home air conditioning unit?


If so, keep in mind that residential air conditioning systems with higher SEER ratings are more efficient, and will run with lower power bills than units with lower SEER ratings.


As of January 2006, all air conditioning units manufactured in the United States must be 13 SEER minimum.


Lower SEER rated equipment manufactured prior to January 2006 will still be available for sale, until supplies run out.


My understanding is that the new 13 SEER equipment will be more expensive.

The condenser and evaporator coils have to be larger to achieve the higher efficiency, so for split system residential air conditioning systems, in addition to being more expensive, both the inside air handling unit and the outside condensing unit will be larger.

The 13 SEER inside air handling unit probably will not fit where older air handlers are tightly installed, and the 13 SEER condensing units will require larger mounting pads.

I would expect that package-type 13 SEER home air conditioning units will also be larger in size than lower SEER rated equipment.

If so, they will require larger mounting pads.


I also understand that all U S Manufacturers will be using R-410a in their 13 SEER units.

R-410a is a more efficient refrigerant than R 22.

It runs at much higher pressures than R 22, and requires air conditioning manifold gauges rated for higher pressures.


This is some background information about the state of the industry in the United States as we approach the end of 2005, and the beginning of 2006.


Whether you're planning to replace an existing home air conditioning unit, or shopping for a system for a new home construction, I hope you'll find this information useful as you make your buying decisions during this period of time.


After considering the SEER rating of a new home air conditioning unit, you'll want to be sure you're buying the right size system for your room or home.


When it comes to a window air conditioning unit or a mini-split ductless air conditioning system, I have to admit that as a technician, I always recommend a slightly higher capacity system than the "1 ton per 400 square feet of floor space" rule of thumb.

When people ask me for my recommendation, I always explain that the "rule of thumb" is just a close estimate that "should" be enough, and I always recommend "a little more capacity" because of the many problems I've seen with incorrectly sized units.


But if they want to be sure, I recommend what I'll now recommend to you.

If you want the most efficient system possible, and if you want to be confident you are paying the lowest air conditioning power bills possible, have your home air conditioning unit sized by a design engineer.


If you're in the pre-construction stage, what should happen is that the engineer will evaluate the size of your home and the materials your home will be made of, the prevailing weather and climate conditions, the year-round temperatures, the type of system you want installed, and a variety of other factors, and if he knows what he's doing, he'll provide you with the most efficient air conditioning system possible, based on a careful, scientific evaluation.


20 years of lower power bills might be worth the extra effort, don't you think?


And just to be sure that he didn't sit in his office and guestimate your installation or pull it out of his armpit, ask to see his work sheets, and ask him to sit down with you and verify his calculations factor by factor.


Why would he hesitate to do this?

You're another potentially happy customer who will refer him to your friends and family if he's done his job well.


Are you replacing the air conditioning system in a home that's already built?

The procedure is almost exactly the same, except that the engineer should visit the building to make an accurate evaluation, unless you know that your blueprints are totally accurate.


If you're wondering what advantages the different brands of air conditioners might offer, I explain why I like Goodman equipment on our Goodman Air Conditioning page.


What about maintenance?

Regularly scheduled air conditioning maintenance will help you get the greatest efficiency out of your home air conditioning unit.


Before we move on, if you're simply trying to find out the best setting for your thermostat, our page about what is the correct temperature setting has some tips you might find useful.


Are there any aftermarket add-ons I'd recommend?


Actually, I can recommend heat recovery air conditioning modifications to help improve the efficiency of your home air conditioning unit, and lower your power bill;

And I have seen high intensity ultra violet for air conditioning clean the stuff that looks like mold and mildew out of the inside of air handling units.


Are you considering installing a residential chiller?

I've only worked on one small residential chiller.

It was a compact Trane system that was cooling a 2 story home.

I only worked on it once, and to me it looked like a sensible water-chiller type of home air conditioning unit.

All the refrigeration takes place in one compact water-chilling unit outdoors, and the chilled water is simply pumped to the air handlers inside the rooms, to cool the rooms.


I hope this page has provided some help, and please, feel free to contact us with any specific HVAC questions you might have, including questions about air conditioning on Guam, and refrigeration on Guam.

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