Everyone shopping for a new heating and air conditioning system says the same thing, "I want a high efficiency system at a fair price." Problem is, every system advertizes itself as "high efficiency". Not only that, but there is a lot more to an air conditioning system than efficiency. We thought it would be helpful to describe the perfect air conditioning system in terms of features and then give options for each feature in cost order.
High Efficiency. A perfect air conditioning system is highly efficient. The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) rates all air conditioners by SEER. The higher the SEER rating, the higher the efficiency. If you have a system that is over 10 years old, it is most probably rated between 8-10 SEER. New systems are manufactured at various SEER ratings between 14 and 21. A 20 SEER system uses half the electricity of a 10 SEER.
There are whole house dehumidifiers in the market that dehumidify independently of the home's air conditioning system. The premier products are Ultra-Aire manufactured by Therma-Stor. The major advantage of stand-alone dehumidifiers is that they work when your air conditioning system isn't. This includes spring and fall when temperatures are moderate but humidity is a problem. It also includes nights for the same reason.
Temperature. A perfect air conditioining system keeps every room the temperature you want at any time of day. This is accomplished through thermostats, duct design, and zoning.
Programmable thermostats allow a homeowner to control temperature at any time of day, any day of the week but there is more to comfortable cooling than that.
Most air conditioning systems distribute air through a series of metal or flexible ducts. Because the rooms of a house gain more or less heat at different times of the day, duct systems are designed to cool each room at its hottest time of day (i.e.: east facing rooms gain more heat in morning, west facing more in the afternoon). This is not the most efficient or comfortable way to design systems.
Zoning helps by dividing the home into room groupings that have common heat gains. This can be done by using multiple air conditioning systems (one for upstairs, one for downstairs). It can also be accomplished using less expensive zone controls. Zone controls enable one system to have many cooling zones, each with its own thermostat. The air flow into these areas is regulated by electric dampers that channel air to where it is needed.
Zoning accomplishes a few things: it reduces the size of the air conditioner required for the home. It improves dehumidification and it increases the efficiency of the air conditioning system.
Air Purification. Years ago, an air filter was designed to protect air conditioning equipment from being clogged with lint and dust. Today's systems can be installed with many purification and filtration options including Electronic Air Cleaners, Ultra-Violet Purification, a variety of Pleated Filters or simple disposable filters.
The type of filtration depends on the construction of the home and the particular needs of the homeowner. If allergies are a problem, consider Electronic Air Cleaners or Ultra-Violet. For general air cleaning, a 5" pleated filter or 1" pleated filter might suffice.
The Perfect Air Conditioning System.
Now we get to define the perfect air conditioning system. We've listed the features of a perfect system with equipment options and links for your research.
- Trane XV20i Variable Speed Condenser with variable speed heat
- Trane XV18i Variable Speed Condenser with variable speed heat
- Trane XR17 2-Stage Condenser with variable speed heat
- Thera-Stor's Ultra-Aire UA-XT105 or other Ultra-Aire system
- Trane XV20i or XV18i variable speed systems
- Trane Variable Speed furnaces and Hyperion air handlers or Zoning Controls
- Trane Comfortlink II, internet enabled, color touch screen
- The Nest self-programming, internet enabled. (single stage only at this time)
- Trane Comfortlink I, programmable, multi-stage
- Air distribution:
- Multiple Systems
- Zone Controls
- Variable speed blowers
- Air Purification:
- Trane Clean Effects electronic air cleaner
- Sanuvox R+ UV Purification system (do not be fooled into thinking all UV is alike)
- Trane Perfect Fit 5" pleated filter system
- Fresh Air:
Call Art Boudreaux at 469-4232 to discuss your new system.