AC – Air Conditioners size are measured in tons. The sizes typically range from 1.5 tons – 5 tons. The increments are 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4 and 5 tons.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – This is how efficiently your unit operates. The higher the number the more efficient your unit will operate and the lower your electric bill will be. 13 SEER is the lowest rating by law able to be sold and installed. Think of SEER as MPG in a car. It is important to remember that as air conditioners get older, the SEER goes down. In other words, the last AC you may have installed may have been a 10 SEER, which was considered HE, but is now 14 years old and now operating at a 6 SEER level. Split system air conditioners SEER typically range from 13 – 20.
There are two different types of refrigerant: R-22 and R-410A. In accordance with the Clean Air Act, R-22 is being phased out. The production and importation of R-22 has been banned. The price of R-22 continues to rise as less and less R-22 become available. Manufacturers are still producing R-22 units but in order to get around the Clean Air Act, they are shipping them without the refrigerant and the contractor is responsible for evacuating the current system of R-22 and replacing it into the new system. Westin Air does not recommend purchasing a dry R-22 unit as when refrigerant comes into contact with the air, it becomes contaminated and can cause problems in the future.
Variable Speed Compressor – This is the most efficient option for compressors for your air conditioner. It will give you the most consistent temperature throughout your home as it ramps up and down gradually to meet the demands of the Thermostat. It will run using the least amount of electricity while keeping the thermostat’s demands met.
(Variable speed compressor is comparable to “inverter” technology in the video below)
Two stage or Dual Compressor – Has two stages of operation – High for hot summer days where low
will not meet demands met by thermostat and low for days where it maintains the demands of the thermostat.
Ideally, 80% of your air conditioner’s run time should be in low. Running in low speed offers a more even
temperature without the spikes in temperature like the single stage compressor. This is a more energy efficient
option verses a standard single stage compressor.
Single Stage compressor – The least energy efficient of all the compressors. It is either on or off. There is no in between and it is high or off. There will be spikes in temperature from when the A/C turns off from the times it is running.