Types of Air Conditioners
This is an entry level air conditioner that usually only comes in a 13 or 14 SEER rating. These are single-stage units, which means you will usually notice uneven cooling and a difference in temperature between the different levels of your home. These units are less expensive than a regular air conditioner, but they're also more likely to break down since they use lower quality components. The compressor in this type of air conditioner usually only has a 5-year warranty instead of the standard 10-year. The compressor is like the motor in your car. Although you're getting a good deal today, you'll pay for it later.
These air conditioners are the standard of the industry, and thus they use better components than the builder's grade (or entry-level) air conditioners... and they come with a 10-year compressor warranty. These units range from a 13 to 16 SEER depending on the manufacturer. These units are still single-stage, which means they're like a furnace in that they turn on and off more, and they don't always cool the home evenly. You will notice a difference in temperature between floors.
Like a two-stage furnace, this air conditioner has two separate speeds. This allows the air conditioner to run a little longer, which will also let it run more efficiently, just like a car in cruise control going down the freeway. Because it runs longer, this also provides much more even cooling and minimal temperature difference between floors. This type of unit is only available in higher SEER ratings, usually 16 to 21 SEER. These air conditioners obviously have a higher up-front cost, but they provide tremendous comfort and long-term efficiency savings. If you want your house to be the same temperature from the top floor all the way down to your basement, the only system to put in is a variable speed furnace with a 16+ SEER two-stage air conditioner or Hybrid heat pump.
Air conditioners are not simply given a percentage to represent they're efficiency. Because there are so many factors that affect efficiency, they are given a number which represents how efficient an air conditioner would be if it is kept clean, maintained, and installed properly. This number is called a SEER rating.
SEER stands for "Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio". This rating is a measure of the energy efficiency of an air conditioning system. SEER ratings permit consumers to compare operating costs of various cooling systems and products. Older air conditioners can have a rating as low as a 6 SEER or worse. Even some air conditioners that are only a few years old, but built before the latest efficiency regulations, can be 10 SEER units. All new air conditioners range from a 13 SEER to an 18 SEER.
Proper Install/Refrigerant Charge
Several major universities have done studies which reveal two interesting facts:
- more than 50% of air conditioners have an improper charge, and that again
- over 50% of air conditioners are installed incorrectly.
Either of these problems can cause an air conditioner to lose efficiency, ultimately resulting in a premium 16 SEER air conditioner delivering the value of an 8 SEER air conditioner. At Jerry Kelly Heating and Air Conditioning, we go the extra mile to ensure you get the best value for your money. Jerry Kelly not only makes sure your unit is installed and operates properly, but ensures that you're fully satisfied with our work upon completion.
An air conditioner quickly loses efficiency. The dirtier the indoor coil or the outdoor condenser gets, the more efficiency is lost. We recommend yearly, consistent maintenance / tune-up to ensure the unit is performing at peak efficiency.
R22 has been the standard refrigerant for years. Recent regulations have made it obsolete beginning in 2011, meaning even though it's less expensive to install now, you'll pay a premium to repair an air conditioner with this type of refrigerant in the future. Because it's been a standard in the industry for so long, several companies still prefer this type of Freon. It's what they've always installed, even though it's not the best solution for you in the future.
R410A, called by some brands PURON®, is the newer replacement refrigerant for R22. It's more expensive now, but as R22 is phased out PURON® should become less expensive and in turn more cost effective to repair. Most manufacturers have several units in R410A and some of the higher efficiencies only come in R410A. This refrigerant is newer and more complicated. If installed improperly, this type of refrigerant will have more problems and you will likely have to clean the system and replace the refrigerant in the unit. That's why at Jerry Kelly Heating and Air Conditioning, every technician has been certified to work with R410A and we have continuing training to ensure it's always installed properly.
Jerry Kelly Refrigerant Locking Cap / Refrigerant Locking Caps
Jerry Kelly Heating and Air Conditioning installs these locking caps at every service call. Here's why:
- Freon® and other refrigerants are lethal chemicals and are easily accessible
- Leaks at the "Schraeder" service valve can be prevented
- Refrigerant can be expensive and is sometimes stolen
We want your family to be safe! Locking caps prevent "huffing" of refrigerant which is highly addictive and can be lethal.
International Mechanical Code® (IMC) 1101.10 and International Residential Code® (IRC) M1411.6 state that "refrigerant circuit access ports located outdoors shall be fitted with locking-type tamper-resistant caps."