How much do you know about air conditioning?
Homeowners regularly have to make decisions regarding their air conditioners, and the more informed you are, the better decisions you can make. Since there are air conditioning terms used in the industry that many people are not familiar with, here are short definitions for some terms it can pay to know:
- SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio): A number that tells you how efficiently your A/C uses electricity. The lower the wattage usage the higher the SEER rating. A higher SEER number can save a substantial amount of money on your long-term air conditioning costs.
- Btu (British Thermal Unit): A unit used for measuring heat. It is used to measure how much heat your A/C can remove from the air, as well as how much heat your home absorbs from the outdoor air.
- Ton: A unit used for measuring the cooling power of an A/C. It originally referred to the cooling power provided by a ton of ice, and is equal to 12,000 Btu’s.
- Cooling load: The number of Btu’s or tons needed to cool your house. You can reduce the cooling load, and thereby reduce electricity usage or maybe even the size of your air conditioner, by sealing or insulating your house.
- Refrigerant: The pressurized gas that actually cools the air inside an A/C. Older air conditioners use R-22 refrigerant, which is being phased out; new units typically use R-410A.
- Air handler: The indoor part of an A/C system. They can be single-speed or variable-speed; choose variable-speed for better efficiency and quieter operation.
- Condensing unit: The outdoor part of an A/C system that consist of the compressor, condenser coils, the fan motor and miscellaneous electrical components.
- Compressor: A pump within the condensing unit that compresses and circulates the refrigerant. Some new models are two-stage compressors, which makes them quieter, more efficient, and better dehumidifiers.
- Zoned system: An air conditioning system that cools each part of the house separately, improving comfort and efficiency.
If you have any questions about your air conditioning system, contact the Greater Kansas City area A/C experts at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ll be happy to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Overland Park Heating & Cooling services Overland Park and surrounding areas in Kansas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!
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