Central Air Conditioner

Central Air Conditioners

Central AC systems still represent the gold standard for home air conditioning. In most cases, the ductwork system that delivers cool air throughout the house will distribute heated air during winter months. A central air conditioning system is not sized by BTU output. Instead, cooling capacity is given in “tons.” A “ton” of cooling capacity equals the amount of heat absorbed by one ton of ice melting over a 24-hour period (roughly equal to 12,000 BTU).

Great gains in comfort and energy savings are possible when you replace an old central AC system with a new, high-efficiency unit. For example, a 10-year old AC system may only be operating at under 10 SEER, while new units are available that operate above 20 SEER. When AC maintenance and repair isn’t providing the comfort or savings you want, it’s time to consider upgrading to new equipment. O'Donnell Plumbing, Heating & Air will also help you evaluate building envelope improvements that help to reduce your AC requirements.

If your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with an ENERGY STAR® qualified model could cut your cooling costs by 30%. O'Donnell Plumbing, Heating & Air can provide a free air conditioning estimate for replacing an old, inefficient system with advanced equipment that will save energy and improve interior comfort.

These days, air condition systems with a SEER of 16 or more are considered very good. 21 SEER systems are about the highest you can get these says. An air conditioning unit that is 12 years old or more, may only be 10 SEER or less. This means you can cut the amount of electricity you use for air conditioning in half just by making this upgrade alone! When you combine an air conditioning upgrade with other measures to save energy such as air sealing the house, adding insulation, sealing and insulation ducts, and a radiant barrier in your attic; you are saving big and making your home more comfortable! O'Donnell Plumbing, Heating & Air can accomplish this in your home!


How Central AC Works

A central air conditioning system relies on a refrigerant to "pump" heat from inside your house to outside. When the refrigerant compound is allowed to expand and change from a liquid into a vapor, it gives up a great deal of heat -- just like perspiration does when it evaporates from your skin. The evaporator coil in the HVAC system is cooled by this phase change. A blower in your central air conditioning system's air handler forces warm interior air through the evaporator, cooling it before it enters the ducts that distribute the air throughout the house.

Many homes with central air conditioning have a standard "split" system —an outdoor unit that rests on a concrete pad, and a separate indoor unit that's connected to the ductwork system.

The interior part of a central air conditioning system will include a drain line for the moisture that condenses out of the interior air as it is cooled.

The heat pump cycle can be made to work in reverse, providing heat to interior spaces rather than cooling. When hot weather ends and the heating season begins, a dual-mode heat pump can reverse the refrigerant cycle and begin to warm the air that is blown through your ductwork system. Heat pump systems that supply heating and cooling work best in climates with mild winters.

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