Contrary to popular belief, air conditioners don’t actually blow cold air into your home or business. They actually are designed to remove heat instead. Air conditioners are made up of an evaporator coil, condenser, and refrigerant lines, all working together with the fan and control system in your furnace/ air handler.
Air Conditioner Sizes and Efficiency
Sizes for air conditioners are measured as tons of cooling capacity. The way our qualified technicians determine the proper size for your air conditioner is by using a load calculation. A ton is equal to the ability of your system to remove 12000 BTU of heat per hour. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit (standard measure of heat- similar to miles per gallon (mpg) rating for your car).
The measurement of a unit’s energy use to perform cooling is its SEER Rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The minimum efficiency of these units that can be manufactured in the US is mandated by federal law and is a SEER rating of 13. Generally, the higher the SEER number, the less electricity it requires to cool. The performance of your cooling system is determined largely by your HVAC equipment’s operating efficiency. The more cooling/heating a system outputs for each unit of energy used, the higher rating it will receive. The higher the efficiency rating, the less energy it will consume, which translates to lower utility bills.
Types of Air Conditioners
- Central air conditioning
- Ductless mini splits
- Window units
- Portable air conditioners
- Evaporative (swamp) coolers
- Packaged terminal air conditioners (PTAC)
Central Air Conditioning
Central air conditioning systems use ducts to distribute cooled air throughout your home or business. In a “split system,” the typical design, refrigerant circulates between an indoor coil and a matching outdoor condenser with compressor. The refrigerant cools the air, dehumidifying it in the process; a blower circulates air through ducts throughout the house. A variation is the “heat pump,” a type of system that functions as heater and cooler. When used as an air conditioner, a heat pump discharges heat from the house either into the air or deep into the ground. In the winter, a heat pump extracts heat from the ground or the air to warm the house.