Cooling units can reasonably be expected to last for between 15 and 20 years. If your current cooling system is close to or at this mark, it’s time to think about replacing it with a new energy-efficient central air conditioner. While you will have to spend money at the outset, updating your unit will help you save money on your monthly energy bills. Before you can make a change you’ll need to gather information so that you have all the facts you need to make the right decision for your home.
Two Types of Central Air Conditioners
Before you make a decision about replacing your current air conditioner system, you’ll need to know which type of central air conditioner you have in place: a split system or a packaged one.
Split-system has an outdoor cabinet which contains the condenser and compressor. An indoor cabinet houses the evaporator; in many cases it also contains the indoor part of a heat pump or a furnace.
Packaged central air conditioners have the condenser, compressor, and the evaporator in an outdoor metal cabinet. It is usually positioned on a concrete slab next to the foundation. Air supply and return ducts extend from the cabinet through the home’s exterior wall to a series of internal supply and return ducts. They circulate and return cool air throughout the home.
Tips for Buying an Energy-efficient Central Air Conditioner
- Consult with an experienced HVAC contractor to make sure you buy the right size unit for the square footage of your home. If the unit is too small, it will have to work too hard to keep your house cool, which will raise your energy bills. If the central air conditioner is too big, it will cycle on and off too quickly, which will result in too much humidity in your home.
- Look for a system that runs quietly. New, energy-efficient systems on the market make about the same level of noise as a distant conversation and you will not find them disturbing to your everyday activities.
- An air conditioning system with a check filter light to remind you to check the filter after a certain number of operating hours will help you to perform this necessary function regularly.