A central air conditioner is either a split-system unit or a packaged unit.
Split-system central air conditioner- an outdoor metal cabinet contains the condenser and compressor, and an indoor cabinet contains the evaporator. In many split-system air conditioners, this indoor cabinet also contains a furnace or the indoor part of a heat pump. The air conditioner's evaporator coil is installed in the cabinet or main supply duct of this furnace or heat pump. If your home already has a furnace but no air conditioner, a split-system is the most economical central air conditioner to install.
Packaged central air conditioner - the evaporator, condenser, and compressor are all located in one cabinet, which usually is placed on a roof or on a concrete slab next to the house's foundation. This type of air conditioner also is used in small commercial buildings. Air supply and return ducts come from indoors through the home's exterior wall or roof to connect with the packaged air conditioner, which is usually located outdoors. Packaged air conditioners often include electric heating coils or a natural gas furnace. This combination of air conditioner and central heater eliminates the need for a separate furnace indoors.
What is SEER?
(Seasonal energy efficiency ratio) The relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output.
On most A/C units, look for a yellow sticker labeled “Energy Guide” that is where the SEER rating is located. Sometimes the SEER rating is listed near the top of the unit’s manufacturer label. The beginning digits of the model number will tell you the SEER rating for your unit. For example, a model number that begins with 14AC means the air conditioner has a SEER rating of 14.
So what is a good SEER rating?The federally regulated minimum SEER rating for an A/C is 13 or 14 depending on where you live; the ranking can go as high as 25. Consult an Exact Temp technician to determining the right SEER for your new A/C unit. We will consider the climate of your home to determine the impact of swapping out your system to one of a different SEER rating.
Today's best A/C units use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid-1970s.
Many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less.
A 13 SEER is commonly a good match for a home that typically had an 8 to 10 SEER rating.
ENERGY STAR® central units are about 15% more efficient than standard models.
When replacing an older or failed split system, be sure that the evaporator coil is replaced with a new one that exactly matches the condenser coil in the new condensing unit. (The air conditioner's efficiency will likely not improve if the existing evaporator coil is left in place; in fact, the old coil could cause the new compressor to fail prematurely.)