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.
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.
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.
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.
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