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Air Conditioning 101

Wednesday, 03-Apr-2019 by Ryder AC
Air Conditioning 101  

System Types



Straight Cool
An air conditioning system that includes a cooling cycle only. It may include gas oil or electric strip heating

Heat Pump
Cooling and heating system that absorbs heat from the outside air and transfers it inside to provide a cooling cycle during the summer and heating cycle during the winter. Heating is provided at about half the cost of electric strip heating.
Strip Heating (or resistance heating)
A form of electric heating which may be used in climates where heat is used infrequently. Air is blown over electrically heated metal coils and
circulated into the living space.

The federal government requires all central cooling and heating systems to display efficiency ratings to allow consumers to compare. The higher the SEER or HSPF, the more efficient the model.


Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER)
A measure of annual average cooling efficiency of an air conditioner or heat pump. FPL recommends a minimum SEER of 14.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)
A measure of average annual heating efficiency of a heat pump. FPL recommends a minimum HSPF of 6.8.

A properly sized air conditioner will cool and dehumidify your home. A system that is too large will not dehumidify the air and a system that is too small will not keep your house cool on the hottest days. Ask your contractor if you may benefit from a heat load calculation. But contractors don't recommend an A/C size based solely on the size of your home. They also take into account local temperature humidity windows that let in heat from the sun level of ceiling insulation and the number and lifestyle of your home's occupants.


British Thermal Unit (BTU)
A measure of the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound (one pint) of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. Used to describe how much cooling or heating a home needs.

A measure of the size or cooling capacity of an air conditioner. One ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs per hour and is the amount of cooling released from melting 1 ton of ice per day.

R-410A: Becoming the Standard
The HVAC industry is fast moving toward R-410A being the ONLY refrigerant used in the USA for the manufacture of residential air conditioning equipment. The year 2010 is closer than you think.

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