Air Conditioners Need Replacement on Occasion, But Be Sure to Do Your Homework First

by Greg Leisgang on April 24, 2014

Posted in: Air Conditioners

air conditioner replacementReplacing air conditioners gives homeowners a good opportunity to install a system that will save energy and improve comfort. Choosing a system with the most efficiency your budget can handle and one that's sized exactly for your home will help manage energy costs and lengthen the system's life.


While the square footage of your home comes into play, it's not the sole factor. The contractor needs to run an analysis of your home's energy efficiency, occupancy patterns, its cubic footage and floor plan layout before deciding on the size. Contractors use software called Manual J to run this calculation and Manual D to arrive at ductwork capacity. In addition, existing ductwork needs to be examined  for suitability and any leaks it has sealed tightly. 

Installing too large or too small a system will compromise comfort and increase energy consumption. One that's too large will run in short cycles, leaving behind humidity and increasing the wear on the parts and your energy bills. The electrical load is highest when air conditioners first start. One that's too small won't handle the hottest weather we experience.

Efficiency Rating

The current minimum efficiency standard, known as the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER, is 13. This SEER is a significant improvement from the older standard that expired in early 2006. Even if your system is just 10 years old, you'll probably realize a 20 to 40 percent savings on your electric bills. Choosing an even higher SEER will drop utility costs even more. Each increase in the SEER indicates the system uses 10 percent less energy based on controlled laboratory conditions.


Features that work well for air conditioning in our climate include:

  • Dual-speed compressor - The compressor only runs on high when your home needs significant cooling, which saves energy. It also quiets the outdoor condensing unit.
  • A variable-speed blower - The fan is controlled electronically and will run at different speeds based on your cooling needs. 

To learn more about selecting and installing air conditioners to get the best performance, contact the pros at Tri-County Heating & Cooling. We've provided HVAC services for greater Cincinnati homeowners since 1969. 

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