High to Low Efficiency Central Air Conditioning Units - A Buyer's Guide
The price and performance of your air conditioning system is determined in a large part by your HVAC system's operating efficiency. The "matched systems" which comprise of the outdoor unit (compressor) and indoor unit are tested and given a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). The SEER is similar to the miles per gallon (MPG) rating given to a car. The more cooling and heating a system provides for each unit of energy consumed, the higher the SEER. Therefore a unit with a higher SEER will consume less energy and help you to have lower utility bills.
High-Efficiency Central Air Conditioner
A high-efficiency central air conditioner has a SEER of 16 to 23. The estimated cost starts at $3,500.00. A high-efficiency unit will cost more initially but will save you a lot of money on your future utility bills. Using less energy is better for the environment and can be necessary if you live in a location with high energy costs or extreme climate conditions. These units use the more eco-friendly coolant R-410A instead of R-22 (freon).
Mid-Efficiency Central Air Conditioner
A mid-efficiency central ac unit has a SEER of 14.5 to 17. The estimated cost starts at $3,000.00. A mid-efficiency unit is more of a balance between initial investment and long-term energy expenditures. Today the United States government dictates that new central air conditioners have a SEER of at least 13. Like the high-efficiency units the mid-efficiency unit uses the R-410A instead of the R-22 (freon).
Minimum-Efficiency Central Air Conditioner
A minimum-efficiency central ac unit has a SEER of 13 to 14.5. The estimated cost starts at $2,500.00. Just ten years ago the minimum-efficiency units would have been considered high-efficiency. So if you're replacing a very old ac unit, then the minimum-efficiency central air conditioner will help to lower your energy bills by nearly half. Some contractors believe the minimum-efficiency units are the best value in general. If you live in a climate that will permit low use of the ac unit then minimum efficiency may be the best choice. Also if you're on a tight budget or needing a unit for a rental property the minimum-efficiency may make sense. Most of the models use R-410A refrigerant.
Mini-Split Ductless Air Conditioner
Central air conditioners require ducts to vent the cooled air from room to room. If your home is not equipped with ducts then installing them can be very costly. An option for homes that do not have ducts is a mini-split ductless ac unit. The estimated cost starts at $1,000.00.
A mini-split ductless air conditioner operates with two main pieces of equipment. The compressor is outside the home while the air handler which holds the evaporators and blowers is inside the home. The mini-ductless system may cost more for what you are getting but is cheaper to install when you don't have existing ductwork. One advantage is that you can better control the air temperature of each individual room and only cool the rooms that are in use as long as you have a unit in the room.
To learn more about Central Air Conditioning and Heating Systems for Lower Utility Bills, visit: New AC Installation Dallas and Residential Air Conditioning Fort Worth.
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