Air Conditioning What You Need to Know

Hvac filters

Whether you are seeking the cool breeze of an air conditioner in summer or the warming glow of a heating unit in the dead of winter, choosing the right heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) unit can be tricky. Keeping costs down and life span up are often priorities.

A range of air conditioning units are available from stand alone units to mobile or portable options, each offering differmt benefits. Air conditioner units can be split, meaning there is an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. Installed on or near the wall outside of the room you want to cool, the outdoor unit, while the compressor, condenser coil and the expansion coil or capillary tubing are part of the indoor unit. Such split system air conditioners often offer greater energy efficiency and many are also quieter as a result of the outdoor component.

A split system air conditioner can be installed across multiple zones in a home, allowing you to cool specific areas of the house. Ductless systems are called mini-splits. It is a less expensive way to install AC in homes and venues with no duct systems. A fan, inside the indoor component, is installed near the ceiling, and the compressor is installed on a concrete slab outside the residence.

Regardless of the chosen system, it is vital to ensure that your heating and air conditioning parts are properly maintained as this can increase the life span of the unit. If properly maintained, a HVAC system can last as long as 15 years. Changing an air filter every three months is part of this maintenance regime, as is having units serviced yearly so that internal components can be checked and heating and air conditioning repair can be avoided. Filter maintenance can cut down on allergens, dirt and dust, too.

Proper installation and maintenance can also improve energy efficiency. Ensuring your attic is properly ventilated can save you between 10 and 12% on your energy bills and a programmable thermostat can save you upwards of $180 annually. Improper installation of such units increases your energy costs by 30% or more.

Choosing the right HVAC unit, whether split system air conditioner or mobile unit, maintaining it properly, and ensuring energy efficiency can make all the difference to your health, your bills and your life.

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