If you have a quizzical look on your face whenever someone mentions central air conditioning, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of condensers and coils.
Start by taking the following quiz developed by the Trane Home Comfort Institute, a consumer information service on heating and cooling.
Answer true or false to the following statements:
- Most central air systems are “split” systems.
- A “ton” of air conditioning refers to the weight of the system.
- Heat pumps can cool your home.
- The higher the “SEER” of a central air conditioner, the cheaper it is to operate.
- Price is the most important consideration when choosing a central air system.
- The compressor is considered “the heart of the system.”
When it comes to the subject of cooling, you’re “hot” if you’ve given the following answers:
1. Most central air systems are “split” systems:
True. A split system means it consists of two parts: an indoor unit or coil that pulls heat and humidity from inside air, and an outdoor unit or condenser that releases that heat to the outside air. When the coil and condenser are both housed in the same unit, the system is called a packaged system.
2. A “ton” of air conditioning refers to the weight of the system:
False. It refers to the capacity of the system. One ton of air conditioning removes 12,000 Btu’s of heat energy per hour from a home. Residential units usually range from 1 to 5 tons.
3. Heat pumps can cool your home:
True. Don’t be fooled by their name. Heat pumps do pump heat into your home in winter like a furnace. However, they also pump heat out of your home in summer like a central air conditioner. This ability to both heat and cool makes them very economical and efficient home comfort systems.
4. The higher the “SEER” of a central air conditioner, the cheaper it is to operate:
True. The SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is an indication of the performance efficiency of the system. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit. The more efficient the unit, the lower the operating costs.
5. Price is the most important consideration when choosing a central air system:
False. A recent study by the Trane Home Comfort Institute shows that homeowners rate reliability as the most important attribute to consider when selecting a central air conditioner. Purchase price ranked fifth on their list after reliability, dependability, efficiency and overall quality.
6. The compressor is considered “the heart of the system”:
True. It is so called because it is the pump that circulates the refrigerant from the indoor coil to the outdoor condenser and back to the coil again. Because of its importance, look carefully at a compressor’s reputation and warranty when selecting a central air conditioning system.