Central Air Conditioning
It is time to learn more about central cooling and heating system. The environmental temperature varies throughout the year. It gets quite hot during the summer months. The opposite happens in the winter months when the cold environment becomes unbearable. When the temperature goes up or down more than what people can comfortably bear, it becomes necessary to use some device to control the excessive heat and cold. That is where a central heating and air conditioning system comes to the rescue.
The central heating and air conditioning systems are now being preferred over traditional window AC units. The reason behind this preference is that central ACs have a single system that cools multiple rooms of the house or building. The air handler of this device helps regulate the air temperature in rooms with the help of air ducts.
Another advantage of a central AC system over a window system is that it is a lot quieter because its condenser, which is a noisy part of any AC, is located outside. The air handler part of this unique AC is installed in an attic, so it remains hidden from view. The central air conditioning system does not block the outside view, which the window AC does. One can switch this device from heating to cooling by pushing a button. There are central AC systems that have only heating or cooling functions. This article covers only the combination system with both heating and cooling features.
The central AC unit’s air ducts are installed in the ceilings and floors. This ductwork network helps the central air conditioner to send cool or hot air throughout the home. The device has an outdoor condenser unit with a compressor, condenser coil, fan, and electrical components. Its indoor evaporator coil is placed in the air handler or connected to the furnace. The two parts are connected together with refrigeration lines. The temperature in the indoor area is controlled with a thermostat.
The window air conditioner still remains popular for many reasons. It works well for rooms measuring about 500 square feet, but it is not that effective during the winter months. You will be forced to use a portable heater even when you have a window air conditioner. It can prove expensive if you have multiple rooms. You will need one window AC and one heater for each room. Your energy bills will be very high. You do not have to spend that much money if you use a central AC system. You will see significant savings when using a central AC and heating system for a large house that has many rooms. Your energy expenses on heating and cooling will come down.
Most homes nowadays are built with a central AC and heating system. If you go to buy a house, you are more likely to find houses with central air conditioning and heating unit. This device has become a standard feature in most homes.
Selecting the Central Air Conditioning System
Suppose you are building your house or upgrading your old AC. Now you would want to know from your building contractor what type of central AC system will be right for your building. When choosing this AC device, the first thing you have to consider is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER rating. This rating is calculated by dividing the air cooling capacity running at a constant level by the electric input needed to run it. The next step is to name it by number.
The higher SEER rating of an AC indicates it is more efficient to run. You will save more on your electricity bills when you use an air conditioning system with a higher SEER rating. In the US, most central air conditioners are required to have at least a 13 SEER rating. Window air conditioners do not need this high rating. They are usually rated at SEER 10. This is another reason why a central air conditioning system is better and more efficient compared to a window air conditioner.
Another thing you have to determine is the size of the system needed to cool and heat your house. There are several factors that determine what size of AC is perfect for a house. The AC technician assessing these factors for installation of the air conditioner will take into account the type of insulation used in the home. The type of windows and the number of stories the house has, as well as the local power rating, are some other factors used for this calculation. A house measuring 1200 square feet in Arizona off the highway without any trees around it and a clear atmosphere without any clouds will require at least 3 1/2 ton AC.
Now suppose you have a house in northern Florida with lots of trees surrounding it. The house has effective insulation inside its drywall. The size is the same 1200 square feet. This house is going to need 2 ton AC. The outside temperature may be the same, but the house insulation is different.
Freon is an important aspect of any central air conditioning system. The use of R-22 refrigerants causing ozone depletion has been phased out. All air-conditioners that use these refrigerants have been removed from the market. Only refrigerants that do not damage the ozone layer are being allowed in the air conditioners now. Most ACs now use R-410A refrigerants. How does it affect the old R-22 refrigerants? The production of R-22 was allowed up to the year 2020. After that, all R-22 air conditioners have recycled R-22. All HVAC manufacturers, contractors, and technicians are required to follow these refrigerant laws. Following these regulations allows the ACs to become more eco-friendly.
Is it possible to convert R-22 AC into R-410A AC?
It is not possible because R-410A has double the pressure of R-22. The new air conditioning refrigerants do not damage the ozone layer. The components of new AC systems are designed to withstand the pressure of new refrigerants. The old refrigerants cannot handle this much pressure.