Every year as summer sets in and the temperatures start to rise, folks are reminded about how horribly uncomfortable the temperatures can get inside of homes and offices that are not air conditioned. Typically, when the weather heats up there is a rush of folks searching for ways to stay cool and comfortable. Many folks look to central air conditioning to make their homes or offices a place where it is possible to comfortably work, play, relax and sleep. These centralized systems are ideal for cooling large spaces where a room air conditioner is just not man enough to do the job.
How Central Air Conditioning Works
A centralized air conditioning system does its job by utilizing something called a split system, which is able to condense the air as well as compress it. In addition, these systems use an evaporator that is connected to the mechanism that handles air, such as a forced-air furnace. The entire unit is then put together as one complete system and installed externally. Usually, this is on the roof of a commercial building or in a mechanical unit outside of a house.
As a central air conditioning unit begins to work, it sends the cooled air through the building via a system of duct-work, which provides airflow to the various rooms in the structure. The temperatures in the different rooms of a house or office building are controlled either by a central control panel or by controls in each room.
However, there are some centralized air conditioning systems do not come with such controls. In these instances, the controls must be bought separately and should be installed at the same time as the complete unit. It is important to clarify this upfront with the company that is selling and installing the unit so that there are no surprises during the installation process.
The majority of homeowners favor centralized, air conditioning equipment because these systems are able to keep the noise associated with running the air conditioning outside. Even the newer room air conditioners can be rather noisy, particularly when running at night in bedrooms. Central air systems position the equipment that is responsible for the majority of the noise on the outside of the house. This allows the interior of the home to stay nice and quite even though the air conditioning unit might be working hard to keep things cool.
Central Air Conditioning Installation
Central air conditioning tends to be a complex system and the equipment is typically installed when a building is under construction. These heating and air conditioning systems supply the heating, cooling, air filters or air purifiers, and ventilation as needed to keep the environment of the home or office building comfortable and healthy. A centralized system utilizes supply and return ducts that are placed throughout the structure in order to properly circulate air.
If you are thinking about installing a new central air conditioner or simply need to replace an existing system, then make sure that the contractors who bid on the job perform a detailed cooling load calculation so that the appropriate system for your home will be installed. It is best not to use a simple rule of thumb, which tends to result in over sized equipment.
At the same time, they should not simply replace the old system with a new unit of the same size. The reason for this is because the existing system may have been the wrong size to start with, or the house may have had additional insulation or more efficient windows installed since the original system was fitted.
Federal law requires all air conditioning manufacturers to have their equipment rated for its energy efficiency. The rating for a central air conditioning unit is called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER. Heat pumps carry an HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor rating. The higher the SEER/HSPF, the more energy efficient the equipment is.