FAQs About Air Conditioning
If you're considering installing an air conditioner in your home for the upcoming summer or you would like to replace your existing one, you likely have many questions about AC units. Two-thirds of American homes contain air conditioners, producing about 5% of all electricity produced in the United States at a yearly cost of more than $11 billion to homeowners, says Energy.gov. Having an efficient AC unit is key to saving money and the environment. If you switch to a high-efficiency air conditioner and employ other smart energy reduction practices, you can reduce your energy use by 20% to 50%.
Check out some helpful FAQs about air conditioning:
What Does SEER Mean? SEER stands for Seasonal Efficiency Ratio and is the approximate efficiency of an air conditioning unit over a given time period in a given climate. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit is, thus lowering its overall cost of operation. Currently, the minimum SEER rating for residential units is 13.
Should I have a home energy audit done? Yes, we recommend getting one done. It's optional and free, providing you with some very valuable information about the quality of your insulation and air sealing, and can also detect the presence of leaks in your air ducts. You can use the information you learn to make necessary energy-saving changes throughout your home. Learn more at Mass Save.
What's a good way to determine the AC size I need? This is best done by measuring the square footage of each room in the home. For square and rectangular rooms: multiply the length of the area by its width; for a triangular room: multiply the length of the area by the width and divide by 2, says Energy Star, which offers a handy table you can use to determine how many BTUs you will need. For example, you will need 14,000 BTUs for a space of 500 square feet, while you'll need 34,000 BTUs to cool 20,000 square feet.
What does BTU mean? BTU stands for British thermal units (BTUs) and it determines how quickly and effectively the unit can cool down any given room. A range of between 5,000 BTUs to more than 30,000 BTUs is common in most residential air conditioners.
Is a bigger unit better for my home? Not necessarily. It's important your unit is matched perfectly to your home's size and needs. If you purchase an overly large unit — above and beyond what you need — your energy consumption will skyrocket and result in more humidity. You could experience the growth of mold and mildew, not to mention the high bills you'll have to pay.
Do I really need annual inspections and maintenance? Yes. If you neglect this most basic of maintenance, you're doing the entire unit — and your wallet — a disservice. Through regular TLC, your HVAC professional can detect and diagnose small issues before they become big, costly problems. Waiting until your unit breaks down will translate to more costly repairs and possibly the need for replacement. Staying on top of maintenance will also extend the life of your unit.
For more answers to more of your air conditioner questions, contact us here at TDI Air at 903-597-8381. We have a long track record of serving East Texans for more than 50 years with AC installation, repair, maintenance and inspections. Now's the time to schedule your annual cooling system tune-up to help you stay cool all summer.