Are you having trouble with one side of your split-system A/C? Before you purchase a replacement for the broken half, discuss with your HVAC contractor the benefits of replacing the whole system for optimum efficiency and performance. This is usually preferable to trying to add a brand new component to your existing split A/C system. Combining a new outdoor condenser/compressor with your old indoor evaporator/air handler, for example, will be a prescription for trouble down the line.
- SEER ratings must be identical – Too many homeowners make the mistake of believing that their A/C’s performance can be improved by only replacing half of their cooling system with a high seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) unit. In reality, the opposite is true. If, for example, your outdoor condensing unit needs to be replaced, it will not work efficiently or compatibly with an indoor coil unit that has a lower SEER rating. In addition to running less efficiently, mismatched SEER ratings can stress your system, possibly leading to expensive repairs. Keep in mind that if your current equipment has a SEER of 12 or below, you won’t be able to find a match. Today’s cooling systems are required to have a minimum SEER of 13.
- Refrigerant must be uniform – The two sides of your split-system A/C cannot utilize different refrigerant agents. Attempting to combined components engineered for different refrigerant components will reduce A/C efficiency, put undue stress on your equipment, and even lead to premature system failure. The problem is that A/Cs manufactured before 2010 used R-22 refrigerant, while newer systems use R-410A. Consequently, you’re not going to have much luck finding old and new components that are engineered for the same refrigerant formula.
- Matched systems yield benefits – Various tax credits and utility or manufacturer rebates are available to homeowners who upgrade to high-efficiency A/C systems. In order to qualify, though, you must be able to prove that your equipment was performance matched. Be sure to request a certificate of certified performance or an AHRI (Air conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute) reference number from your contractor upon installation.
For more helpful tips on replacing your split-system A/C, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Pumbing. We provide superior home comfort services to the greater Indianapolis area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image courtesy of Shutterstock