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Guide To Central Air Conditioning For Homeowners In San Diego

Hamels Ac installed central air conditioner in Lakeside ca

Everything San Diego Homeowners Need to Know About Central Air

Have you ever wondered what a central air conditioning system is? You’ve likely heard the term but do you know if a central air system is right for your home? If so, you are likely wondering “How do I choose the right central air conditioner for my home?” Today we’ll cover the basics of a central air system, and how to choose a system that will be right for your San Diego home.

How Does A Central Air Conditioning System Work?

A central air conditioner gets its name by cooling in one central location. In their simplest form, these units collect heat from within a home and expel it through an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit’s called a condenser and freon is used to move heat outside the home. Once the air is cooled it then distributes that air throughout the house using fans and ducts. These units once connected to the home’s furnace are called forced air systems. A forced-air system combines central heating and cooling within the same HVAC unit.
Central air conditioning is an alternative to zoned air conditioners. The two most common types of zoned AC units are window units and Ductless mini Splits. These Air Conditioners cool only the area within the zone around them.  If you are interested in learning about the benefits of Ductless Mini-Splits please read our homeowners guide to Mini-splits.
San Diego York dealer installed Central Air system

Are There Different Types of Central Air Conditioning?

HVAC terminology can often mean different things to a pro or a homeowner. For example, did you notice that in our definition of central air, we mentioned how the air’s cooled? This is because evaporative coolers and geothermal units cool from a central location too. These systems are not considered central air conditioners and the systems cool differently.
Central air conditioners are refrigerant-based systems that circulate air in the home. There are two basic types of central air systems: split and packaged units.
A classic central air conditioner is a split system and is also the most common. These AC systems use a indoor and outdoor unit to cool the home. Indoors an evaporator transfers heat from the air to the system. Outside a compressor, and condenser work together to release the heat from the system. Typically an air handling unit attached to the furnace is used to move the air. Split units make up the majority of central air systems in San Diego homes.
Packaged Units place the air conditioning and air handler in a single cabinet. In most instances, these units are located outside of the building. These packaged units can include a furnace or heat pump for use in homes with limited indoor space.

How to Choose The Right Central Air Conditioner For Your San Diego Home

There are 3 factors to consider when choosing a central air conditioner. These are efficiency, functionality, and sizing and each affects how your system operates.  YORK - LX Series AC with 90 percent plus AFUE Gas Furnace

Central Air Conditioner Efficiency and Why It’s Important

Efficiency is how an HVAC system gets rated based on its use of electricity. All air conditioners have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER, the more energy-efficient the unit is. A higher SEER will equate to lower energy usage. These savings affect the unit’s usage as well as the climate your home is in and its cost to operate.

How Does Functionality Affect A Central Air System

The functionality of a central air system is how easy your system and thermostat are to use. Do you find yourself asking questions like: How do I connect my air conditioner to my phone? or How do I connect my AC to Google assistant? If so, you should look for a smart thermostat that integrates into your HVAC system.
Some HVAC systems have features such as motion sensors and remote temperature sensors. These smart devices allow your HVAC unit to see more information about your home. This feeds the unit far more information than a traditional thermostat-based system.
Groups of York Air Conditioners by size and efficiency to increase a homes functionality

How Will A Properly Sized Central Air System Increase Efficiency in San Diego

Sizing is important in choosing the correct air conditioner for your home. Each home’s unique design makes it one of the hardest to discuss. An air conditioner that’s too small for a home will run all day to try and keep up. In contrast, a unit that’s too big will cool your house fast and turn off before the ac has completed a full cycle. short-cycling a central air unit means it can’t remove the humidity from the air. This inefficiency makes the home feel warmer. Oddly enough, it’s still more expensive to run than a unit sized to the home.
A properly-sized air conditioner will cool your house to the desired temperature, then cycle off. This is controlled by the thermostat that will cycle it on or off as well. A properly cycling HVAC unit will help your home maintain lower energy costs year-round.
To size a unit an HVAC professional will perform a load calculation to size the AC unit for your home. Most importantly this calculation takes into account the region in which you live. Each home’s size and design are unique so this must be taken into account too. A pro will also analyze the type of insulation in the home, and the unit’s SEER rating. Once complete your HVAC consultant will have a clear picture of what your home needs.
It’s possible to use the square footage of your home for a rough estimation. The problem here is many of the factors above are left out of that equation. This makes it best to consult with a San Diego HVAC professional such as Hamel’s. We will assure your system is built to your needs so your home will be dry and comfortable in  La Jolla CA or cool and relaxing in El Cajon’s warm summers.  Each area will have different requirements and we can sort through the data and make it easy for you.
Customer ads up cost of their air conditioning installation to find out what it cost while looking at the central air system

What Does Central Air Installation Cost

Central air costs vary with the size of the home and the unit that’s installed. Often times it’s assumed that a previous unit’s ductwork will suffice for a new installation. This is often not the case and ductwork can increase the cost if it’s needed. Older homes with no ductwork can often need extensive work to use a central air system. Oftentimes in situations like these Ductless mini-splits may be a better option.
On average, a new central air conditioner will cost between $5,000 and $10,000 to have just the equipment installed. If your home requires a reduct the prices can easily range from $12k – $30k+  depending on the size of your home and how hard things are to access.  Most units will need a licensed HVAC pro to install them to assure it’s covered by the warranty. This is often a requirement from the manufacturer. This means it’s often wiser to hire out the job to a local HVAC company.
York HVAC Lifetime compressor 1 year labor 20 year heat exchanger and 10 year complete assurance logos

Central Air Repair And Warranty

A new central air conditioner should last about 20 years but most are only warrantied for the first 10. For this reason, it’s important you pick a reputable company to install the unit. This will assure you have a professional to turn to when if you need to rely on the HVAC warranty. A 10 Year replacement date is often pushed for by many unreputable companies. 
These companies will cite increased efficiency however in most instances, a 10-year-old unit will be at least a 14 seer rating. This means to really increase your efficiency the cost of these newer units rarely makes sense for homeowners. These replacement situations should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.  Be wary of companies that heavily push the 10-year replacement date and feel free to call Hamel’s for a free second opinion
Most central air systems are low maintenance but they do need annual servicing. The most important maintenance is changing the air filter to assure proper airflow. Filter’s will last 2 to 6 months, depending on the filter type your system uses. Other considerations like dust, pets, and any allergies your family may have will play a role too. Most units will cost 125-250 a year to maintain unless you do it yourself. If you do, you may void your manufactures warranty on any newer units. For this reason, it’s best to have a reputable HVAC company service your system at least once a year. This will ensure the warranty of your new HVAC systems is properly maintained as the manufacture requires.
At Hamel’s, we can eliminate all of the guesswork and assure your system is installed properly.  We can handle any permits and assure your warranty is protected.  For a FREE HVAC estimate in San Diego give Hamel’s a call today

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San Diego Central Air Installation And Repair Service Area

When it comes to installing a new central air conditioning unit finding a reliable local HVAC service company is a must. You don’t want to wind up with problems that were caused by an improper installation. If you have a home that needs a new central ac installed, call Hamels for expert workmanship. We also design and install all types of ductless mini-split systems and will custom-build a system to your family’s needs. We proudly service San Diego County’s HVAC needs

Christopher Johnson
Christopher Johnson
03:01 02 May 24
Another project complete thanks for the help of Hamel’s HVAC . Two split units disconnected and reconnected with in a weeks time after I did the... roof replacement 1700 ft.² flat roof had to have the split units removed . Then I tore the roof down to the wood and replaced the roof in 5 days .Hamel’s. Scheduling was no problem both Disconnect and Reconnect as always they did outstanding work . I am grateful for their help.Christopher, C J Johnson,Commercial and Residential solutionsread more
Rosamond Trujillo-Blevins
Rosamond Trujillo-Blevins
23:43 01 May 24
Very professional and knowledgeable
Igor Sfiligoi
Igor Sfiligoi
19:12 30 Apr 24
Very thorough A/C check. Clearly explained all the improvement options, without excessive upselling push.
Marlies Hensley
Marlies Hensley
14:37 28 Apr 24
Hamel’s was amazing! Very professional and detailed and clean! They took pride in their work and were very helpful and communicative throughout the... entire project. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a stellar job and great outcome! I am beyond pleased!read more
Nancy Wise
Nancy Wise
14:37 27 Apr 24
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