Air conditioners cool and dehumidify. An oversized air conditioner can quickly cool a home, but it results in frequently cycling on and off, which doesn’t allow enough time to remove moisture and may make the house feel clammy. A properly sized AC will operate for a longer period of time during the hottest days, which will remove that uncomfortable moisture. Although a properly sized unit will run longer, it will be more efficient and use less energy. Oversizing a residential AC system by 50% will cause a 10% increase in energy consumption. Not only do oversized units consume more energy, but they also remove less moisture from your home.
Do I need a larger air conditioner to better cool my house?
How often should I change my filter?
Once per month. This will help your air conditioner run more efficiently, keep your air cleaner, and prolong the life of your system. A dirty or clogged filter will demand more energy and slow down the cooling process.
How often should I have my central heat & air system checked?
Twice per year and preferably during the spring and fall. Maintenance is the key to prolonging the life of your HVAC unit and can reduce your chances of a major repair by over 60%. Over 8,000 customers in Central Arkansas have taken advantage of our annual Maintenance Agreement program, which provides two visits a year where our technicians perform our signature 44-Point Checkup.
If I set my thermostat to its lowest setting will my air conditioner cool my home faster?
The thermostat is not a throttle; setting it lower than necessary will not cool the home any faster.
In the winter when I turn down my thermostat at night and turn it back up in the morning, am I using too much energy to reheat the house? If so, should I continue doing this?
No matter how long you will be gone or asleep, you will save energy by turning down the thermostat. Heat escapes faster when there is a bigger difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. When you turn down the thermostat, the indoor temperature is closer to the outdoor temperature, the furnace runs less, and you lose less heat and save energy. In the morning, the furnace will run a little longer to bring the house back to temperature; however, the nighttime energy savings is much greater than the energy needed to reheat the home.
Is the square footage of the house all that you need to determine the size my air conditioner system should be?
A good load calculation program takes into account window types, window orientation, window shading, insulation of ceiling, walls and floor, air leakage, and many other factors, such as the color of the roof and the number of occupants. Using the square footage of a home to size an air conditioner is outdated and will almost always yield an oversized system. Don’t use a contractor who wants to size your unit solely on the square footage of your house. Require a Manual J or equivalent analysis before purchasing.
What is SEER?
SEER is a central air conditioning unit’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Unlike the EER (Energy Efficiency Rating), the SEER estimates a unit’s performance over an entire cooling season, rather than measuring its performance at a given temperature and humidity level. In short, it measures the seasonal performance of the unit based on the cooling accomplished (in BTUs of energy) divided by the electricity consumed (in kWh).
Should I replace my central air even though it is still working?
If your existing AC unit is more than 15 years old, it is probably inefficient and you should consider replacing it with a newer, more energy efficient unit. For example, if you replace a 1970s central air conditioning unit that has a SEER of 6 with a new unit and a SEER of 13, you would cut your air conditioning costs in half – or more! Remember, in Arkansas, almost one-fourth of our annual utility costs are paid to keep us cool.
What is a heat pump?
Heat pumps are like conventional air conditioners except they also can provide heat in the winter. Just like an air conditioner removes the heat from your home and transfers it to the outdoor during the summertime, a heat pump reverses the process. Even with outdoor temperatures as low as the mid-30 degree range, a heat pump can remove heat from the outdoor air and transfer it to the inside of your home very efficiently. A heat pump is a very viable option on a home that is all electric, versus just using electric heat strips only.
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