How to Choose an A/C Replacement: A 3-Step Guide
If you’re wondering how to choose an A/C replacement to maximize your investment and boost comfort, you’ve come to the right place. With expert advice, you’ll find out the three critical steps involved with choosing a cooling system, leaving no stone unturned. The process includes selecting an efficiency rating, and sizing and installing the system.
The first step in knowing how to choose an A/C replacement involves learning about efficiency ratings. A system developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) shows the relationship between energy input and cooling output. In other words, SEER offers a good indication of how efficiently the system will operate over one cooling season. Cooling systems are also rated via energy efficiency ratio (EER), but this number shows energy input to cooling output at higher operating temperatures and when humidity is higher.
The federal government requires air conditioners to meet minimum standards, set at SEER 13 and EER 11; however, selecting a unit with a higher SEER rating can increase energy savings. High-efficiency systems start at SEER 16, with increasingly higher EERs. You can also qualify for a $300 energy tax credit by purchasing a high-efficiency A/C that meets federal criteria.
Selecting the efficiency rating should be followed by sizing the system, the next step involved with knowing how to choose an A/C replacement. Your contractor should follow the standard method for calculating load, using Manual J, also developed by the ACCA. Taking into account insulation, air loss and square footage, the contractor can use the results from the Manual J load calculation to size the system’s capacity, using Manual S.
The last step in the A/C replacement process, the contractor with whom you work should expertly install the system, ensuring:
- Proper airflow
- The refrigerant charge meets the manufacturer’s recommendations
- Tightly sealed refrigerant lines
- A sealed and insulated ductwork system
Smoky Mountain Heating & Air is happy to help you learn how to choose an A/C replacement, ensuring optimal return on investment. We serve homeowners in greater Asheville. Give us call today or visit our website for more information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Asheville, North Carolina and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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