Central AC Units
Most central air conditioners sold today are split systems where the components are housed in two separate AC units. An outdoor metal cabinet contains almost all of the equipment, including the compressor, condenser and fan motor. The indoor evaporator coil is typically installed on top of a furnace or inside the air handler. Lines carrying refrigerant connect the two AC units. Packaged systems house all of the AC components in a single outdoor unit. They deliver air through air ducts connected directly to the AC unit.
Air conditioners work by converting liquid refrigerant into a gas and back into a liquid. As the refrigerant evaporates into a gas, it pulls energy in the form of heat from the surrounding air, therefore leaving the environment feeling cooler. Because warm air holds more water vapor than cool air, moisture is extracted from the air during the process too. In central AC systems, the cooled air is distributed through a network of air ducts as opposed to a window unit, for example. Heating systems often share the same ductwork system.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
The efficiency of AC units is measured using the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which compares the equipment’s cooling output to its energy consumption. AC units with higher SEER ratings offer you the greatest savings on your monthly utility bills. The Department of Energy (DOE) sets minimum SEER standards based on geographic regions. As of January 1, 2015, split-system air conditioners installed in Florida must have a minimum 14 SEER. If you need help choosing the right size AC unit, our knowledgeable HVAC technicians can help also.