Picture this: It’s a hot, summer day, and you’ve been outside running around with the kids in the backyard. The sun is shining, and the humidity has got you wanting one thing. That one thing, is a blast of cold air as soon as you walk inside. Thanks to Willis Carrier, that was made possible.
Central air conditioning has been improving the quality of our lives for many years now. The first modern electrical air conditioning unit was invented in Buffalo, New York, in 1902.
Air conditioning, formally put, is a system for conditioning the humidity, ventilation, and temperature in a building or vehicle, typically to maintain a cool atmosphere in warm conditions.
We all know that air conditioning has been helping us keep our cool, but in all reality, there’s a little bit more to it than that.
The Six Types of Air Conditioning Units
We all are familiar with that nice big breath of cool, fresh air that hits us when we come inside from being out in the heat. Air conditioning units are complex and there are multiple types of AC units that can function in your home.
Knowing the difference between the different types of AC units can help homeowners in both, Kentucky and Indiana, make more informed decisions about the types of AC units and which one is right for their home. If you’re looking to replace your system, upgrade to a new unit, or are buying for the first time, being informed of all the different options will help you make the best decision.
Central Air Conditioning:
Central air conditioning is the most common type of cooling system, as it is preferable in larger homes across the United States, especially in Kentucky and Indiana. Due to its ability to cool larger areas efficiently, these units are among the most popular and widely used. Installing a system of this kind requires a lot of planning and prep-work, as sizing is crucial to the proper functionality of the system.
Ductless, Mini-Split Air Conditioners:
Ductless, mini-split AC units are more commonly found in different parts of a home. Similar to central air conditioning, these systems have outdoor compressors and indoor handling units. Ductless, mini-split systems can have up to four different handling units, all of which are connected to the outside unit, to make cooling individual rooms throughout your home a much more simple task. Ductless systems are a great solution to rooms that are added onto a house, as well.
Window Air Conditioners:
As old fashioned as it may sound, window air conditioners are still found in many homes throughout Kentucky and Indiana. This specific type of AC unit functions to cool a room by pulling in the warm air, and blowing the cool air back into the room. These units are normally found in smaller living spaces, as they are more efficient in the cooling efforts of a single room, and not a whole house.
Portable Air Conditioners:
Portable air conditioners are becoming more popular, as they are considered the next generation of window units. Portable AC units take air from the room and cool it, and then direct it back into the same room. The unit then vents any warm air outside from an exhaust hose that is installed in the window. Although these systems are also designed to cool only one room, they are easy to install, versatile, and one of the more affordable options.
Hybrid Air Conditioning:
An interesting method of cooling, hybrid systems are actually heat pumps with diverse functionality. Hybrid systems alternate between burning fossil fuels and using electricity to run. This type of system chooses between the two energy sources in order to save both money and energy.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling:
Geothermal technology has quickly become a popular method of heating and cooling, due to its sustainability, energy efficiency, and long lifespan. Since the ground temperature remains a consistent 55 degrees year round, despite the temperature of the atmosphere, geothermal technology is able to extract the heat from below the surface of the ground and transfer it into your home. Coils are installed deep into the ground, as a method of transferring the energy into your home for the purposes of heating and cooling.
Parts and Pieces of Your AC System
To most homeowners, knowing your AC unit is working properly during the warmer months of the year is a priority. However, keeping your home comfort level at a temperature that’s just right for you and your family requires a lot of behind the scenes work.
There are several unique components that make up a standard air conditioner. The biggest job of your AC unit is to cool your home, but each part of your system works in conjunction to perform other tasks, too. These other tasks include monitoring and regulating air temperature via your thermostat, removing airborne particles, and controlling the humidity levels within your home.
There are seven major parts and pieces that make up your AC unit:
Evaporator: This is where cooling coils remove heat and humidity from the air, using refrigerant.
Blower: A blower circulates air over the evaporator and dispenses the chilled air.
Condenser: Hot coils release the collected heat into the outside air.
Compressor: This is a pump that moves the refrigerant between the evaporator and the condenser to chill the indoor air.
Fan: A fan blows air over the condenser, for the purpose of dissipating the heat outside.
Filter: The filter of your AC unit is used to remove particles from the air that will be pushed into your home.
Thermostat: Most homeowners think of the thermostat as a separate piece of equipment, but in all actuality, the thermostat is one of the most important components of your AC unit. The thermostat allows homeowners to have total control over the regulation of the amount of cool air that is distributed throughout your home.
What Is a SEER Rating?
SEER ratings and your AC system go hand in hand. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t buy a car if the make and model had bad reviews or low ratings, would you? Your air conditioning unit and its SEER rating are just like that.
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. Simply put, a SEER rating is a measurement of an air conditioner’s cooling capacity compared to its power input over a cooling season. These are seen as maximum ratings, rather than constant values.
In other words, the higher the rating, the greater the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.
SEER ratings can fall anywhere between 13 SEER and 24 SEER. Often, homeowners are faced with the issue of investing more money into a higher quality, more efficient system. However, don’t forget to check manufacturer’s rebates and local tax credits for your Kentucky or Indiana city, as these can bring down the cost of a higher rating SEER system.
Protect Your Air Conditioner With a Professional
Part of making sure your AC unit stays in proper working order is simply just taking care of it with regular maintenance checkups. You simply cannot afford to wait until something goes wrong. Routine maintenance of your system and its components, and any air conditioner repairs performed by an HVAC professional are the most fulfilling ways to ensure the longevity of your system.
Inspired by homeowners just like you, My Trusted Contractor is here to provide you with a local, trusted HVAC professional to take care of your AC system. Stay cool all summer long with the help of our expert technicians. For more information about air conditioning, or to find a contractor in your area, simply contact us today.