Replacing or installing a new ducted central air conditioning system is an important capital investment in your home. Of course, your personal comfort is important, but air conditioning also impacts your energy bills and your indoor air quality. This guide to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) helps you make best buying decision. 

Q: How do I figure out what size AC I need for my space?

A: Air conditioning system capacity is usually described by the system’s hourly BTU output, or BTU/h. The higher the BTU measurement, the more powerful the air conditioner.  

Visit our system selector for help determining the size of ducted central ac required for your space. Our selector allows you to choose between a standard central cooling-only system or a heat pump cooling and heating system. 

Q: Why is the correct size important? What if I want a large unit so that my space is cooled quickly or a small system to save money?

A: The importance of choosing the right size system for your space cannot be underestimated. Choose a unit that is too large and your space will cool too quickly and not remove the proper amount of humidity from the space. On the other hand, a system sized too small will not adequately cool your space when the outside temperatures climb.

Q: How do I know if a system is energy efficient?

A:  The rating of an air conditioner’s cooling efficiency is described as its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).  A higher SEER rating signifies higher energy efficiency.  

Q: What is EER?

EER is similar to SEER but it does not take into account seasonal averages. It is calculated using a constant outside temperature of 95° F, a constant inside temperature of 80° F and a humidity level of 50%. The higher the EER, the higher the efficiency.

Q: Can I add an electric heater or use it with my furnace at a later point?

A: Yes, but it depends on the unit. Before making your purchase, check the specifications to make sure that the system is compatible with the use of a furnace or addition of an electric heater.

Q: What is the benefit of a variable speed air handler?

A: A variable speed blower motor compared to a traditional single-speed motor saves energy, helps keep the temperature in the home steady, improves dehumidification and lowers operational noise.

Q: Is a fan-only switch important?

A: Yes, a fan-only switch is great to use at night or when temperatures are not warm enough to require cooling.  A fan provides ventilation and continuously circulates the air through the filter. It requires less energy than running the ac in cooling mode.