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Your New Air Conditioner: 4 Installation Factors That Can Undercut a High SEER Rating

June 27, 2013 | Blog

You’ve decided to replace your old, inefficient air conditioner with a unit that has a high seasonal energy efficiency rating. That’s a smart move. But your job isn’t done yet. You must ensure that your high-efficiency air conditioner is installed correctly. You see, a poorly done installation can undercut a high SEER rating. To achieve the SEER rating promised on the yellow EnergyGuide label, your installation must factor in the following four considerations: 

Airflow

Without the right airflow, your air conditioner cannot achieve an adequate temperature change. Poor airflow can be caused by bad duct layout, ducts that aren’t large enough, inadequate grilles or mismatched equipment. Your air conditioner tech should thoroughly inspect your ductwork and make changes as needed. Ideally, you should have one supply and one return register in every room. In addition, the outside and the inside components of your system should match.

Charge

Your A/C tech must measure the refrigerant and correct it as needed. Even a small variance from the correct charge can have a significant effect on performance. An estimated seven of every 10 systems have an incorrect charge. Some have twice the amount of refrigerant that they should have.

Tight Ducts

Working in tandem with your A/C tech, make sure your ducts are tight before your new system goes in. Inspect your ductwork, and seal all leaks, using mastic and mesh. Ductwork going through unfinished spaces such as an attic should be sealed. Leaky ducts and thermal loss can cause your system’s cooling capacity to fall by as much as 35 percent.

Size

You might think that bigger is better, but, in fact, a system that’s too big will cycle on and off too frequently and fail to remove sufficient humidity from your home. On the other hand, a system that’s too small will be forced to work harder than it should. This could significantly shorten its lifespan. Your A/C technician should use the industry-standard Manuals J and D to determine the correct size and installation for your new air conditioner.

For expert A/C installation, contact the professionals at CCAC in Corpus Christi. We’ve been installing air-conditioning systems since 1979, and we’ll see to it that your new unit serves you well for many years to come.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about A/C installation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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