When you’re making an A/C upgrade, it’s useful to know what the key aspects of the upgrade are to assure yourself you’re making the right decision. The most important variables include the size, efficiency and installation. Each of these factors affects your comfort and energy bills for years to come.
HVAC contractors evaluate your home based on its conditioning load, a constellation of factors that contribute to heat gain indoors. The formula for calculating the cooling load includes:
- Size of your home;
- Insulation levels;
- Number of windows and their orientation to the sun;
- Landscaping factors;
- Air infiltration rates;
- Appliances under roof that create heat;
- Preferred indoor temperatures; and
- Age and number of home occupants.
Once the contractor has determined the size of the A/C upgrade, he or she will determine whether the ductwork you currently have will be sufficient to deliver the conditioned air.
The next step is to choose the energy efficiency of your new air conditioner. The minimum currently stands at 14 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio). Anything higher will reduce your electric bills. An upgrade for our area that raises the SEER is a dual speed compressor that adjusts its running speed based on outdoor temperature and your home’s need for cooling. The compressor won’t run at top speed when temperatures are moderate.
Once you’ve selected the right size and system for your home, you’ll have to ready your yard and home for the installation. Choosing a northern location for the outdoor condenser will help the system exhaust the heat from your home more easily. The condenser should also be away from clothes dryer and areas with a lot of heavy vegetation, since plant debris can interfere with cooling.
The place where you install it should also have a clearance of at least 0.6 meters around each side. The contractor also needs to tightly seal and insulate the ductwork to give you the most efficient performance from the system.
If you would like to learn more about an A/C upgrade, contact Arpi’s Industries. We’ve been providing HVAC services for the Calgary area since 1963.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C upgrade and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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