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Brother HVAC LLC.

Ping-Jung Huang – Owner

What to look for when choosing an Air Conditioning System

Today's high-efficiency air conditioners use about 30% to 50% less energy than those just a couple short decades ago. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may be able to save 20% to 40% by replacing your current air conditioner with a recent, more efficient model.

But the efficiency of the model alone is not sufficient. You must evaluate the efficiency of the unit within the environment you wish to cool.

Purchase the Right Sized Air Conditioner

Air conditioners are rated by the number of British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat they can remove per hour. Another common rating term for air conditioning size is the "ton," which is equal to 12,000 BTUs per hour. The efficiency, performance, durability, and initial cost of an air conditioner are functions of matching its size to the following factors:

Note:  (1 Ton ) 12,000 BTUs per 600-800 sq feet of your home

Remember that a large air conditioner will not necessarily provide the best cooling. In fact, installing an air conditioner that is too big for your needs will always be less efficient and may even be less effective. Here are some of the negative consequences:

Air Conditioner Efficiency

Every air conditioner has an energy-efficiency rating of that identifies how many BTUs per hour are removed from the space for each watt of electricity it consumes.

For room air conditioners, we call this the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). For central air conditioners, it is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).

You'll find these ratings on the Energy Guide Label that is visibly attached to all new air conditioners. Many air conditioner manufacturers participate in the EnergyStar® labeling program. This insignia means that the product complies with high efficiency standards and generally reflects high EER and SEER ratings.

Usually, new air conditioners with higher EERs or SEERs are more expensive. But don't let that put you off.

The higher priced unit will pay you back many times over during the life of the system in reduced energy costs and higher warranty.

We strongly recommend that you purchase the most efficient air conditioner you can afford, especially if you are living in an area where demand and/or power rates are high.

Consumer Hint: Because of their interest in conserving stretched energy resources, utility companies in some areas are offering cash rebates

as an incentive for consumers to invest in higher efficiency systems. Check with your power company to see if any such opportunities are available.

Central Air Conditioners-SEER - The minimum standards for central air conditioners require a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) 13.0 for single-package

and split-systems respectively. However, you do not need to settle for the minimum standard. Central air conditioning units offer SEERs up to almost 20.5 and 2 stage. Choose the highest rating you can afford.

Consumer Hint: Central air conditioning units made before 1979 had SEERs ranging from 4.5 to 8.0. You can cut you're your air conditioning costs in half if you replace your 1970s central air conditioner that has a SEER of 6 with a new unit having a SEER of 13.

The Noise Factor

Some Central AC units can produce some noise. This is generally not a problem for a unit located outside the home, but is a factor you should consider in making your purchase if the unit will be placed in proximity to bedrooms or other high-traffic living areas, or if it is in close proximity to neighbors.

Most late model units have sound ratings that are measured in decibels. Lennox air conditioning makes the least noise of all.

Installation and Location of Air Conditioners

Once correctly installed, your air conditioner should perform efficiently for years with only minor routine maintenance. Too often, however, air conditioners are not installed correctly. This could result in even a late-model, high efficiency system performing almost as poorly as an older one. Again, this underscores the importance of choosing a reputable contractor you know you can trust.

Here are a few important things to look for in the installation of your new central air system:

When replacing an older or failed split system, be certain to replace the evaporator coil with a new one that exactly matches the condenser coil in the new condensing unit.

(If the existing evaporator coil is left in place, not only is it likely that the air conditioner's efficiency will not improve, but the old coil could actually cause the new compressor to fail prematurely