As temperatures start to climb outdoors, it often becomes very uncomfortable indoors for working, relaxing and sleeping. At these times there is generally a surge in interest in finding ways to cool down homes, apartments and offices. Often, this is when people decide that central air conditioning would be an attractive choice, because it offers a convenient way to control the indoor environment, as opposed to single room air conditioners that might not be the most efficient way to go.
A centralized air conditioning system does its job by utilizing a "split system," which is able to condense the air as well as compress it. Additionally, these systems use an evaporator that is connected to the mechanism that handles it, such as a forced-air furnace. The entire unit is then put together as one complete system and installed exteriorly, usually on the roof of a commercial building or in a mechanical unit outside of a house.
As the central air conditioning begins to work, the cool air is sent throughout the building through a series of ducts that allow airflow into different rooms. The temperature in rooms of a house or different parts of a building is achieved by setting the system controls that come with the unit.
However, there is also the possibility that some centralized air conditioning systems do not come with such controls. In these instances, the controls must be purchased at an additional cost and should be installed at the same time as the complete unit. It is important to clarify this upfront with company that is selling and installing the unit so that there are no surprises during the installation process.
One of the reasons why most homeowners prefer centralized, air conditioning equipment is that these systems are able to keep the noise associated with running the air conditioning outside. Even the newer room air conditioners can be rather noisy, especially when running at night in bedrooms.
Such systems position the equipment that is responsible for the majority of the noise on the outside of the house. This allows the interior of the home to stay nice and quite even though the air conditioning unit might be working hard to keep things cool.
Central air conditioning tends to be a fairly complex system and the equipment is typically installed when a building is under construction. These heating and air conditioning systems supply the heating, cooling, air filters or air purifiers, and ventilation as needed to keep the environment of the home or office building comfortable and healthy. A centralized system utilizes supply and return ducts that are placed throughout the structure in order to properly circulate air.
If you are considering installing a new central air conditioner or simply need to replace an existing one, then make sure that the contractors who bid on the job perform a detailed "cooling load calculation" so that the proper system for your home will be installed. It is best not to use a simple "rule of thumb," which tends to result in oversized equipment.
At the same time, they should not simply replace the old system with a new unit of the same size. The reason for this is because the existing system may have been the wrong size to begin with, or the home may have had added insulation or more efficient windows put in since the original system was installed.
All of the air conditioning manufacturers must have the equipment they produce rated for efficiency, according to the law. The rating for a central air conditioning unit is called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER. Heat pumps carry an HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, rating. The higher the number of the SEER/HSPF rating, the more efficiently the equipment uses electricity.