When you start getting prices, to purchase a new central air conditioning system most HVAC companies will try to tell you that the higher efficiency rating = bigger utility savings.
Unfortunately most of the time this is not true because the higher efficiency the bigger the coil. A larger coil restricts airflow causing the blower to work harder.
If your duct work is designed to handle this restriction then it is not a problem but this is rare.
Studies by National Comfort Institute and the Department of Energy have found that most residential duct systems are operating at 55% capacity.
If you add a larger coil in a poorly performing system you will actually increase your utility costs not reduce them.
This also causes the compressor and fan motor to work harder and breakdown.
So instead of being concerned with brands and efficiency ratings for your new Central Air Conditioning System pay attention to the contractor that looks at the whole system. If you get a contractor that comes into your house and checks the static pressure of your existing system before he makes his recommendations listen closely to what he has too say. I would bet he is very knowledgeable on airflow and how every piece of a home comfort system fits into how comfortable your home will be and how efficient it is operating.
It would be better to spend your money improving your distribution system and a Standard 13 SEER system than to have a Super High Efficient Air Conditioning installed in a poor duct system.
If it fits your budget to do both that is a very good idea but if you have to choose your best return on investment it will be in a well designed and sealed duct system.
Most homes could reduce their cost too heat and cool their homes by 45% just by making sure the duct work in your home is sized properly, sealed and balanced.
A Good Heating & Cooling Contractor will do the following for you .
- Complete evaluation of the home and the existing equipment
- Ask about any problem areas, things you are unhappy about with the existing system, utility costs, etc.
- Take a Static Pressure Reading of Existing System. (This is like a Doctor taking your Blood Pressure)
- Preform Heat Loss and Heat Gain Load Calculation
- A Very Good Contractor will also determine the airflow needed for each room.