Which Air Conditioner is Right for You?
We understand our Wilmington residents expect and deserve dependable HVAC Equipment during our long summers. Choosing which air conditioner is right for your home or commercial building can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be. Here’s some information that will help you make a confident and comfortable decision.
Know the Type and Size You Need
There are several types of air conditioners – each designed for specific living spaces based on: the size of the area; structural characteristics (such as lots of windows, rooms, open floor plans, multi-levels, etc.); and the quality of insulation throughout the space.
If all you need to cool is a small room, window or through-the-wall air conditioners are ideal. You can typically install a window unit yourself, and manufacturers will provide a recommended range of square footage for optimal comfort and efficiency. For example, if you need to cool a 10’ x 15’ room, which is 150 square feet, you want an air conditioner with a BTU rating of 5000. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit – a term used to describe the power value of heating and cooling systems. For a 250 square foot space, choose 6500 to 8000 BTU’s. For 350 square feet, choose 8000 to 10,000 BTU’s. For 450-500 square feet, choose 10,000 to 13,000 BTU’s. When a window solution is not desirable, and in hard to reach rooms or spaces where ductwork cannot be routed, through-the-wall units by Samsung or Mitsubishi are good choices. These ductless systems mount like a vent on the interior wall and are connected to an exterior condenser with copper tubing. Whichever air conditioner solution you choose, be sure that you don’t have too much power (BTU’s)! An air conditioner needs to run consistently to remove humidity from a room. If an air conditioner is starting and stopping frequently because it cools the space too rapidly, the room will feel damp and the air heavy.
Central-ducted Air conditioners are great for cooling lots of rooms in homes or small office buildings. This system utilizes a central cooling fan and motor, typically installed on a roof or next to the building on a concrete slab, while it pumps cool air into the living space through a series of ductworks. For larger installations like these, system capacity is expressed in tons. A standard guideline for determining the right system capacity is 1 ton for every 500 square feet of space being serviced. The efficiency of this type of system is rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The SEER rating of a system is the cooling output in BTUs during a typical cooling season divided by the electrical watt input during the same period of time. The higher the SEER rating – the more energy efficient the system. As of January 2006, all residential air conditioners sold in the United States must have a SEER rating of at least 13. Energy Star qualified systems must have a SEER of at least 15. Carefully consider future savings in electric bills when choosing an air conditioning system based on its SEER rating. In customer reviews, Carrier is the most recommended home heating, ventilation and cooling manufacturer. Their founder, Dr. Willis Carrier, actually invented air conditioning as we know it today. American Standard, Rheem and Amana also carry full lines of heating and cooling equipment that rate very high in customer reviews for reliability and longevity. A dependable, lower cost solution in this category is offered by the manufacturer Goodman. Make sure your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) installer is a reputable and knowledgeable professional who can assist you in making the best possible decision. Whichever system is right for you, we strongly recommend that you protect your investment by having a qualified technician perform an annual system checkup. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure! The cost of an annual system maintenance check could easily be recovered through energy savings realized by optimal system performance.
A Split system air conditioner is typically used in larger residential, commercial, or small industrial spaces. It gives you the ability to heat or cool separate rooms by transferring hot and cold air from one place to another. An outside compressor unit draws hot air inside and vents it out while also drawing cool air from outside and transferring it inside. Brinson and Sons Heating & Air have installed many split system air conditioners by Carrier and American Standard (the parent company of Trane) throughout the mid-Atlantic region.