Choosing a New HVAC System
The central air conditioner is either a split-system unit or a package unit. In a split-system central air conditioner, an outdoor metal cabinet contains the condenser and compressor, and an indoor cabinet contains the evaporator.
In many split-system air conditioners, this indoor cabinet also contains a furnace or the indoor part of a heat pump. The air conditioner’s evaporator coil is installed in the cabinet or main supply duct of this furnace or heat pump. If your home already has a furnace but no air conditioner, a split-system is the most economical central air conditioner to install.
In a packaged unit, the evaporator, condenser, and compressor are all located in one cabinet, which usually is placed on a roof or on a concrete slab next to the house’s foundation. This type of air condition also is used in small commercial buildings. Air supply and return ducts come from indoor through the home’s exterior wall or roof to connect with the packaged air conditioner, which is usually located outdoors. Packaged air conditions often include electric heating coils, a natural gas furnace or the typical “heat pump” cycle. The combination of air conditioner and central heater eliminates the need for a separate furnace indoors.
Also, a point to make is that there is also, a furnace only, which is a solo component that furnishes heat to the home. They are generally located in a closet or an attic. Furnaces are run by natural or LP gas as a fuel supply
There is also the ductless mini split-system air-conditioners (mini splits) which have numerous potential applications in residential and commercial buildings. The most common applications are in multi-family housing or as retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, such as radiant panels, or space heaters (wood, propane). They can also be a good choice for room additions, small apartments or garages, where extending or installing distribution ductwork (for a central air-conditioner or heating system) is not feasible. Like central systems, mini splits have two main components; an outdoor compressor/condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, and a condensate drain, links the outdoor and indoor units.
Proper size and installation are critical to air conditioner efficiency. A unit that is too large will not adequately control humidly; conversely, a unit that is too small will not sufficiently cool a home during the summer months. Improper unit location or duct installation, as well as insufficient insulation, may greatly diminish efficiency.
It is important to choose an air conditioner with high efficiency. Air conditioners are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), which indicates the relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output. Many older systems have SEER rating of 10 or less, while today the minimum allowable is 14.
If you choose to replace your HVAC system, full installation typically takes six to eight hours; if ductwork replacement is required, the process may take a bit longer. If needed, multiple technicians will be provided to ensure installations is complete within a reasonable timeframe.
Before and during your installation, this is what you can expect from your Hart Mechanical specialist(s):
- Ensure there is adequate indoor space for the installation, maintenance, and repair of the new system
- Ensure there are enough supply registers to deliver cool air throughout the home, as well as a sufficient number of return air registers to carry warm air back to the air conditioner.
- Install ductwork within the conditioned space (rather than the attic), wherever possible.
- Properly seal all ducts
- Strategically locate the condensing unit to minimize noise, if possible.
- Strategically locate the condensing unit to avoid airflow blockage from nearby objects.
- Verify that the newly installed air conditioner has the exact refrigerant charge and airflow rate specified by the manufacturer.
- Install the thermostat away from heat sources, such as window or supply registers.
Air Conditioner Installation Services Offered (not all-inclusive):
- Package Units
- Condensing units
- Air Handlers
- Split systems and heat pumps
- Electric furnaces
- Natural gas furnaces
- Propane furnaces
- Rooftop package units
- Mini splits
- Evaporator Coils
- Sheet metal duct work-spiral pipe
- Ductwork replacement or duct wrap