Are you hoping to save money by upgrading to an energy-efficient cooling system? If so, it’s important that you understand how installation can affect A/C SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio). By following this simple guide, you can ensure that your A/C installation will maximize the value of your equipment.
What you see isn’t always what you get
An A/C SEER is assigned after testing is conducted in a controlled laboratory under ideal settings. When an air conditioner is actually installed in the field, however, various factors can influence the efficiency rating. Although elements like the weather cannot be controlled, there are several factors that your contractor can manipulate in order to ensure maximum performance levels: airflow, refrigerant charge, tight ducts and sizing.
Understanding the basics of a quality A/C installation
To ensure that you get the most value from your new air conditioner, you must insist that your contractor makes the proper field adjustments at the time of installation. Be sure that he or she considers:
- Airflow – Inadequate airflow prevents the desired temperature change from occurring across the evaporator coil. This reduces system efficiency and effectiveness. Often, poor airflow is due to restrictive ducts, ducts that are too small or a mismatched air handler. Your technician should measure airflow before installation and make any necessary adjustments.
- Refrigerant charge – Your new air equipment’s refrigerant charge must match the manufacturer’s specifications in order to maximize A/C SEER. Even slight variations can significantly lower the system’s performance levels.
- Tight ducts – Your ductwork should be evaluated for leaks before equipment is installed. Leaky ducts can reduce a cooling system’s overall capacity, create moisture problems and introduce unfiltered or unconditioned air into your home.
- Size – Undersized and oversized equipment are not only inefficient and ineffective, but can also lead to costly repairs due to excess strain. Make sure that your system is properly sized through load calculations like Manual J.
To schedule a professional installation that will optimize A/C SEER ratings, contact the experts at Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We provide home comfort services to residents of southeast Michigan and the Detroit metro area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Detroit, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C’s and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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