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  • Frequently Ask Questions*
  • What is a central air conditioner?
  • Is central air conditioning better than window units?
  • Types of central air conditioning units
  • What is the average life of a central air conditioning system?
  • Should I augment my central air conditioning system with other air conditioners or ceiling fans?
  • Where can I use central air conditioning units?
  • How does a central air conditioning system work?
  • What do the air conditioner efficiency ratings mean?
  • What maintenance should I do on my air conditioner?
  • What air temperature should my air conditioner produce?
  • Why would your central airconditioners fail to reach the thermostat set temperature?
  • How long should it take for a central unit to lower the temperature by 1 degree?
  • What is wrong with your airconditioners if the fan is blowing but the compressor is not working?
  • What is a central air conditioner?
  • A Central Air Conditioner is the traditional heating - cooling solution installed in most modern housing; utilizing ducts to distribute conditioned air to one or more area. Central Air systems offer the most versatility and options in terms of multi-zone temperature control and add-ons. Central units come in sizes up to 5+ tons (60,000 BTUs) for large volume applications but generally require HVAC experience to complete installation. Modular 2-piece design allows for upflow, downflow, counterflow and horizontal installations Top ?
  • Is central air conditioning better than window units?
  • This depends largely on individual circumstances for example, how large is the area to be air conditioned, how large is the family, what temperatures are required, how well the house is insulated, where the house is located, etc. Central systems require internal ducting; window units take up valuable window space. In many cases, if more than three large rooms need air conditioning, it is best to consider central air conditioning. Your contractor can advise you Top ?
  • Types of central air conditioning units
  • The units are sold either as split-system or packaged units. In the split-system units, the metal cabinet that is installed outside the home houses the compressor and condenser, while an inside cabinet houses an evaporator. A packaged unit contains the evaporator, compressor and condenser all in the same metal cabinet that is installed outside. Packaged units contain heating elements and eliminate the need to have a separate furnace, but are more expensive. Split-systems are the ones most commonly found in residential construction. Top ?
  • What is the average life of a central air conditioning system?
  • It can vary, depending on how much the system is used and how regularly it is checked or serviced. Generally, the average life of cooling units built in the 1970s and 1980s is about 15 years, but individual units may vary and last much longer, depending on use and how well they are maintained. Heat pumps have about the same life span, an ARI survey showed average heat pump life to be about 14 years when recommended maintenance procedures were followed. Newer units are expected to last even longer. Top ?
  • Should I augment my central air conditioning system with other air conditioners or ceiling fans?
  • If you need to use other air conditioners with a central air conditioning system, your central system probably is undersized or the air distribution system is unbalanced. Window air conditioners or split ductless systems may be used in rooms that lack air ducts. Ceiling fans can be a good idea with some indoor comfort systems because they circulate air that tends to stagnate at the top of rooms with high ceilings. Top ?
  • Where can I use central air conditioning units?
  • You can use central air conditioning units for domestic premises, offices, shops, food processing areas, factories, computer rooms and restaurants. Top ?
  • How does a central air conditioning system work?
  • An air conditioner seems as if it cools your home's air, but it actually makes your home air less warm by removing heat from the indoor air and transferring that heat to the outdoor air.

    Heat is extracted from the home by passing indoor air across a refrigerant coil in the indoor unit. Refrigerant lines then carry the heat to the outdoor unit, where it is released into the outside air. The cooling cycle continues until the indoor temperature reaches the thermostat setting.

    More specifically, when warm air inside your home blows across the indoor evaporator coil, its heat energy transfers to the refrigerant inside the coil. That transfer, in turn, “cools” the air. The refrigerant is pumped back to the compressor where the cycle begins again. The heat absorbed by the refrigerant is moved outside your home while cooled air is blown inside. Moisture that contributes to humidity is also condensed out of the air.

    Your central cooling system is usually combined with your central heating system because they share the same ductwork for distributing conditioned air throughout your home. Top ?
  • What do the air conditioner efficiency ratings mean?
  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a system for rating the efficiency of cooling equipment. The higher the SEER rating, the less your unit will cost to operate. SEER ratings range from 13 SEER (which is the lowest possible efficiency air conditioner product that is manufactured - and thus is the unit which uses the most energy to operate) to over 20 SEER (the most efficient manufactured air conditioners which uses the least amount of energy). Top ?
  • What maintenance should I do on my air conditioner?
  • The most important maintenance you can do is to change your filters regularly. Ground mounted outdoor units need to be kept clear of debris, clutter, weeds or landscaping that can grow too close and reduce the airflow to the unit. Also, keep pets away from the unit because pet urine can cause expensive damage. Use caution with a weed trimmer around the unit to prevent damage to the control wiring or to condenser coil fins. Any additional maintenance should only be performed by a qualified contractor. Top ?
  • What air temperature should my air conditioner produce?
  • The air temperature your system produces depends on the temperature of the air going into the system. Generally, the air produced should be 18°-20° below what enters the system. So if the air entering the system is 80°, the air exiting should be about 60°-62°. However, that only works on a system that has been running at least 15 minutes on a warm, dry day with a home that is about 80° inside. On a mild day, with an indoor temperature in the low 70's, or during humid conditions, the air coming out may only be 15°-17° cooler than the temperature of the entering air. Top ?
  • Why would your central Airconditioners fail to reach the thermostat set temperature?
  • Make sure your air filter is clean. A dirty air filter can block air flow. If both the fan and the compressor are coming on, there may be a low charge. If only the fan is coming on, the compressor could be burned up. Top ?
  • How long should it take for a central unit to lower the temperature by 1 degree?
  • There are several factors to consider, do you have high humidity, how many people are in the house at the time, is it real hot outside, etc. If it takes 30 minutes to bring the temp down 1 degree that is probably too long. You may have a leak in your system and need to add refrigerant. Top ?
  • What is wrong with your airconditioners if the fan is blowing but the compressor is not working?
  • It is possible that the circuit breaker for the compressor unit is thrown (switched to "off"). Go outside to the compressor unit and follow the big cable up to the circuit breaker panel on the wall. If it is off, throw the switch to "on." If that is not the problem, something is probably wrong with the compressor unit. Turn off the breaker panel and call a repairman Top ?
  • What do good central air units have in common?
  • The best ones are efficient, operating on minimal electricity to hold utility bills down. They provide steady, dependable performance year after year when properly maintained. Good systems are quiet, long-lasting and low in service needs. Top ?
  • How can I be sure my Unit is the right size?
  • Obviously, an air conditioner that’s too small won’t keep your home sufficiently cool. But what many don’t realize is that an oversized system will cycle (turn on and off) more than necessary, wasting expensive energy and possibly putting undue strain on the compressor.

    A good contractor will determine the optimum size for your home by making a careful study of your cooling requirements. Window dimensions and exposure. Floor space, insulation and local climate. Heat-generating appliances. The direction your home faces. Even the amount of your home’s exterior shaded by trees.

    He’ll specify the cooling capacity of the system in either Btu/h (British thermal units of heat removed per hour) or refrigeration tons (one ton being equal to 12,000 Btu/h). Top ?
  • Which air conditioners are energy efficient?
  • Much like automobile manufacturers, today’s air conditioner manufacturers are required by law to evaluate and rate their equipment according to its energy efficiency. This rating is known in the industry as a SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the equipment. Most new homes with central air come equipped with a standard builder’s model. However, when replacement becomes necessary, property owners can upgrade their air conditioning by specifying a more energy-efficient system. The Rheem Prestige Series™ High Efficiency model, for example, has a SEER of 18.00, among the highest available. It’s significantly higher than today’s standard models, many of which carry SEER’s of at least 13. High SEER models are generally more expensive, but can easily make up the difference by reducing your home energy bills over the long run. Top ?
  • Are some air conditioners built better than others?
  • The compressor is the heart of a condensing unit. On a hot day, it works long and hard. Rheem installs the highly advanced scroll compressor in every Rheem condensing unit we produce. Scroll Compressors are recognized by the industry as the leader in reliability, efficiency and quiet operation. Other features to look for include louvered steel cabinets that protect the coils from damage and expensive repair bills. Also, with some condensing units, the fan can be another source of bothersome noise. Rheem units have a grill design that minimizes air restriction for quieter fan operation. Top ?
     
  • How a Central Air Conditioner Works
  The typical central air conditioning system is a split system, with an outdoor air conditioning or "compressor bearing unit" and an indoor coil, which usually installed on top of the furnace in the home. Using electricity as its power source, the compressor pumps refrigerant through the system to gather heat and moisture from indoors and remove it from the home.  
  • What maintenance should I do on my air conditioner?
  Troubleshooting a Central Air Conditioning System
 
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