When Considering New AC:
- Check out all the specifications of the new equipment.
- Compare warranties and what they guarantee from the manufacturer.
- Which manufacturer puts customers first.
- The federal government requires all central cooling and heating systems to display efficiency ratings to allow consumers to compare. The higher the SEER or HSPF, the more efficient the model.
Air Conditioning Terms Definition
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) A measure of the annual average cooling efficiency of an air conditioner or heat pump. FPL recommends a minimum SEER of 14. Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) A measure of the average annual heating efficiency of a heat pump. FPL recommends a minimum HSPF of 6.8.
- System Types
- System Features
- Straight Cool
An air conditioning system that includes a cooling cycle only. It may include:
- Electric strip heating
Heat Pump Cooling and heating system that absorbs heat from the outside air and transfers it inside to provide a cooling cycle during the summer and heating cycle during the winter. Heating is provided at about half the cost of electric strip heating.
Strip Heating (or resistance heating) A form of electric heating which may be used in climates where heat is used infrequently. Air is blown over electrically heated metal coils and circulated into the living space
Properly-Sized AC Equipment
A properly sized air conditioner will cool and dehumidify your home. A system that is too large will not dehumidify the air and a system that is too small will not keep your house cool on the hottest days. Ask your contractor if you may benefit from a heat load calculation. But contractors don’t recommend an AC size based solely on the size of your home. They also take into account:
- Local Temperature
- Windows that let in heat from the sun
- Level of ceiling insulation and
- The number and lifestyle of your home’s occupants.
The British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a measure of the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound (one pint) of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit which is used to describe how much cooling or heating a home needs. Ton is a measure of the size of the cooling capacity of an air conditioner.