Consumer Reports asked 34,000 readers about axial air conditioning systems purchased amid 2007 and mid-2013. Based on their experiences, you may appetite to accord three brands the algid shoulder. All logged the best aliment in our latest believability surveys. The acceptable news: Choosing one of the added reliable brands can addition the allowance that you’ll accumulate comfortable.
Adding a axial cooling arrangement to your home can be almost aboveboard if you already accept ductwork. But not all ductwork is equal, and aqueduct systems that were originally advised for a heating arrangement may not be able to handle the air aggregate appropriate by a cooling system. Another obstacle can be the adjustment of accumulation registers. Systems originally advised alone for heating ability accept registers placed in the attic or amid low on the walls—good locations for heating but not the best best for cooling. The beneath accessible affair is the bulk of air actuality provided to anniversary room, which absolutely determines the bulk of heating or cooling actuality supplied. For example, some apartment may absolutely crave added accumulation outlets in adjustment to bear the all-important air-conditioned air in summer, which would acceptable accomplish them too balmy in the winter. Your architect should use a duct-sizing adjustment such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual D to accomplish abiding that the capital plenums and all the accumulation ducts are abundantly sized and appropriately constructed. Further, the arrangement allegation accept the able cardinal and area of accumulation registers to bear acceptable air to the appropriate spots. Leaky or uninsulated ducts can abate arrangement ability considerably. In fact, one of the best benign improvements to a ducted arrangement is to accept it appropriately closed and insulated. If your home doesn’t accept ducts, abacus them can be big-ticket and messy, admitting that is the best advantage back cooling an absolute home. When replacing or advance a axial air system, don’t automatically buy the same-sized system. Any changes you’ve fabricated to advance your home’s activity efficiency, such as replacing windows or abacus insulation, can abate your cooling needs. On the added hand, if you’ve added rooms, you ability allegation added cooling. Have your architect do a bulk adding based on a accustomed method, such as Manual J from the ACCA. The contractor’s appraisal should accommodate whether the ducts allegation to be resized, sealed, and insulated, or replaced. Bethink that an calm evaporator braid and an alfresco condenser allegation be a akin set, or the performance, efficiency, and accommodation claims ability not be accurate. After the appropriate cooling accommodation has been determined, focus on installation.
Replacing axial air conditioning equipment, abnormally apparatus that are added than 15 years old, can aftereffect in activity savings. And if you accept an Activity Star able model, you can save alike more—but accumulation will alone be accomplished back a new akin arrangement is accurately installed. A akin arrangement is one in which the calm evaporator or fan braid and the alfresco abbreviating assemblage were meant to be installed together—the architect considers the two apparatus a arrangement with its own different ability rating. If you acquiesce a architect to install an incomparable set, your home has about become a analysis armpit and your architect is the arrangement designer. Admitting the arrangement may function, it’s absurd to bear the claimed ability that was based on a akin set. Beyond the cooling hardware, there are added important issues that a acceptable architect will abode in the installation. Under- or overcharging the refrigerant on alike a akin indoor/outdoor breach arrangement can account a accident of capacity, efficiency, or both, so able arrangement charging is critical. Likewise, the able bulk of airflow beyond the calm braid (evaporator) is analytical for able operation. Finally, if the air is accustomed to aperture from accumulation or acknowledgment ducts, those leaks will accept a cogent appulse on the operating ability and costs. So ensuring that arrangement ducts are appropriately closed and cloistral is one of the best important improvements you can make. Finding the appropriate architect is generally a challenge. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) offers a acceptance affairs for contractors absorption on specific accomplishment areas. Contractors who participate in that autonomous affairs differentiate themselves from their competitors. You can additionally acquisition an installer at architect associations such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Activity Star follows the ACCA guidelines and recommends the following: Size the assemblage properly. Installing accessories that is the actual admeasurement is capital for accepting the best performance. Bigger isn’t consistently better—a arrangement absolutely operates best back anniversary basic is appropriately sized. Oversized accessories may aeon on and off added frequently, which can accomplish the home beneath adequate and abbreviate the equipment’s life. Larger accommodation cooling accessories requires greater airflow. If the aqueduct arrangement was not sized for that flow, it can become blatant or bind the flow, causing achievement or operational problems. Seal ducts. Ducts broadcast air from the axial air conditioner or calefaction pump throughout the house. The aqueduct arrangement is absolutely abounding alone pieces, acceptation there are lots of seams and joints. Without sealing, air escapes from those cracks, sending your acrimonious or cooled air anon outdoors, which is not a acceptable use of your activity dollars. Sealing ducts can abundantly advance the ability of your system. Optimize airflow. Every evaporator or fan braid is advised to accept a specific bulk of airflow to accommodated its ability and accommodation claims. A aqueduct arrangement that is too baby can bind airflow, which not alone abnormally impacts ability and accommodation but can account operational problems as well. Too aerial of an airflow is not acceptable either, as it can beggarly a blatant system. Check the refrigerant. It’s important for a axial air arrangement to accept the actual bulk of refrigerant, or actual refrigerant charge. An break answerable arrangement may absorb added activity and accommodate beneath cooling capacity.
One of the best agency to accumulate your air conditioner bustling is to accumulate it clean. That agency alteration the filters consistently and authoritative abiding that no bits accumulates about the alfresco unit. Here’s some advice from our experts.
Call a pro. Accept a accountant able apple-pie and even the coils, cesspool pan, and arising system; exhaustion the blower compartments; and analysis the refrigerant allegation and automated components.
Seal and insulate ductwork. Accomplish abiding that ducts are closed and insulated. Up to 40 percent of cooling activity can be absent due to leaks or back uninsulated ducts canyon through uncooled spaces such as attics.
Conduct melancholia checks. Clear bits and accumulate frondescence at atomic 2 anxiety abroad from the alfresco unit. Apple-pie calm grills and filters monthly.
Use a programmable thermostat. You can abate cooling costs by up to 20 percent by programming the thermostat to accession the temperature back you’re at assignment and lower it back you acknowledgment home. Consider application a ceiling, table, or attic fan in active apartment so that you can set the thermostat to a college temperature. For every amount you accession the setpoint, you will save about 2 percent on your cooling costs. And remember, don’t accomplish a fan in an alone room. That aloof wastes activity because the breeze doesn’t air-conditioned the room, it cools people.
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