High-Efficiency A/C Not Living Up to Its Potential? Here’s What Could Be Holding It Back
When you purchase a high-efficiency A/C, you expect it to operate at top performance levels. Unfortunately, if your equipment isn’t properly installed or maintained, its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) can be diminished.
Why isn’t my A/C’s SEER being reached?
Air conditioners are tested for efficiency ratings under controlled best-case conditions. When a cooling system is installed in your home, however, conditions aren’t always ideal. Some variables like local climate can’t be altered, but a qualified technician is able to evaluate and manipulate airflow, refrigerant charge, ductwork and system sizing.
- Airflow — Poor airflow can prevent the desired temperature change from occurring across the evaporator coil, leading to system inefficiency and decreased home comfort. Your technician should measure airflow at the time of installation and during annual A/C tune-ups, making any necessary adjustments.
- Refrigerant charge — Many air conditioners are installed with either overcharged or undercharged refrigerant. This can significantly reduce a system’s SEER rating. Be sure that your contractor follows manufacturer specifications to the letter during installation. Refrigerant should be verified during regular maintenance in order to keep the system running efficiently and to detect any possible leaks before they get out of hand.
- Ductwork — Before installing a high-efficiency A/C, your HVAC professional should size your ductwork with Manual D to ensure that your home’s ducts can support the system. Additionally, your home’s ductwork should be evaluated for leaks. Leaky ducts can cause the loss of conditioned air, leaving your home less comfortable and driving up energy bills. If it seems like your cooling costs have increased recently, consider having your ducts checked for leaks.
- System sizing — Never purchase an air conditioner without having a professional Manual J load calculation performed. Manual J assesses your specific cooling and dehumidification needs so that you can enjoy the highest possible levels of home comfort and energy savings.
For installation and service that maximize your high-efficiency A/C, contact Davis Air Conditioning & Heating. We proudly serve homeowners throughout the greater Houston area.
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