Getting the right heating and cooling systems for your home or office is going to depend on selecting an energy-efficient unit that meets your needs, fits within your budget and proves reliable years down the road.
Whether you’re in the market for a new HVAC unit for your business or an upgrade to your home’s window air conditioning unit or home furnace, you’ll want to find a unit with a high efficiency rating and one that fits your family’s evolving needs.
Understanding Your Heating and Cooling Needs
Perhaps the most important part of ensuring that your new unit will fit your needs is understanding your individual heating and cooling needs.
Many smaller homes and apartments, for instance, can do quite well with just a single window AC unit and a natural gas furnace while business owners overseeing 10,000+ feet of offices might want to explore larger rooftop HVAC units and central air conditioning.
Two Kinds of Central Air Conditioning
Whether you’re looking for a new AC unit for your home or office, there are two types of central AC that you should be aware of – split-system central air conditioning and packaged central air conditioning.
- Split-System Central AC
With a split-system central air conditioning unit the unit is broken down into an outdoor cabinet and an indoor cabinet. The outdoor cabinet includes the compressor and condenser while the indoor cabinet houses the evaporator.
A split-system central air conditioning unit is actually ideal for homeowners who already have a furnace in the home; in this case, installing a split-system central air conditioning unit would most likely be the better central air conditioning option to go with.
- Packaged Central AC
Packaged AC units feature a single cabinet that holds the compressor, evaporator and condenser in one outdoor location – in most commercial applications, on the roof.
Considered the ideal choice for commercial buildings that also need heating powered by electric heating coils or furnace, a packaged AC unit that makes use of supply and return ducts is another great central air conditioning option.
Because a packaged central air conditioning unit features central heating and central air conditioning all in one “packaged” unit, this would also be a viable option for homeowners with larger homes, four-season climates, or no indoor furnace.
Efficiency Ratings and HVAC Size
The Department of Energy sets strict standards for central air conditioners as well as furnaces. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the most important (and popular) measure that you need to have in your back pocket when comparing central air conditioning units with one another.
Why’s that? The SEER score is a metric that tells you how much relative energy your central air conditioning unit needs to meet an assigned cooling output. New Department of Energy standards set for central air conditioning units and heat pumps can steer you in an energy-efficient direction; also make sure to look for the Energy Star label on newer appliances.
In terms of energy efficiency, you can also achieve much more by ensuring that your new HVAC – or window air conditioning unit – is properly sized for your living space. An underpowered HVAC unit, furnace or window air conditioning unit is going to do a substandard job providing comfort, and a unit that’s too big will ultimately fail to achieve the best energy efficiency for your home or workplace.
As with selecting the right central air conditioning unit for your needs, matching your HVAC unit, furnace or standalone air conditioner to the square footage of your home or office is an essential first step towards making the best buying decision possible. Contact us for more information.