New Installation

From a residential home to a 200-unit apartment building, Perfect Cooling, Inc. can ensure indoor comfort, providing top-quality AC equipment for projects of any size.

Why Do You Need A New Unit? Repair vs. Replace...

When your cooling system breaks down, you're often faced with the choice of repairing your existing unit by having one or more of the components replaced or by purchasing a new air conditioner. Many air conditioning companies push clients to purchase new units because there is a higher profit margin in replacing existing equipment than there is in repairing it.

Perfect Cooling, Inc. focuses on educating its customers so that they themselves can make an informed decision regarding the replacement or the repair of an existing air conditioner. Often there's no absolute right or wrong answer. Repairs on an existing unit may be the least expensive immediate option, but may cost the customer more in the long run. Paying for repairs on an older, inefficient system simply prolongs the inevitable. An older system that breaks down once is likely to break down again. And it will consume more energy than a newer system. In fact, installing a new, energy efficient system can pay for itself over time. However, there are times when simple repairs can sufficiently prolong the life of an air conditioner so that immediate replacement of the unit is not the most sensible option.

Sometimes environmental laws determine the course of action a technician must take when faced with malfunctioning equipment. For example, many consumers ask contractors to repeatedly recharge air conditioning systems which are leaking refrigerant. If a comfort cooling system is releasing more than fifteen percent of its charge over the course of a year, the EPArequires the system to be repaired (through a leak detection and repair process) rather than repeatedly recharged. If the evaporator coil has numerous leaks or is severely corroded, a reputable contractor will advise the consumer to replace the unit

Selecting a Unit

It's a purchase you make perhaps once in ten years. You're concerned about efficiency and comfort. But how do you know which brand and model to choose? Understanding the standard ratings applied to air conditioners can help.

Efficiency Ratings

In general, the more efficient the unit, the more it will cost initially. However, the more efficient, more expensive unit will actually save you money over time as it requires less energy to fuel to cool your home. If you are concerned about efficiency, watch for the Energy Star Label. Cooling efficiency for air conditioners is indicated by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Effiency Rating). The SEER rating tells you how efficiently a unit uses electricity: the higher the number, the greater the efficiency. The typical SEER rating of units manufactured prior to 1992 is about 6.0. In 1992, the government established a minimum cooling efficiency standard for units installed in new homes at 13.0 SEER. High efficiency units have a rating of at least 16.0 SEER.

Sound Ratings

Depending on the location of your outdoor (condensing) unit and the floorplan of your home, a noisy unit may destroy the peace and quiet of your garden and may even be a sound nuisance when you're indoors. The sound level of outdoor units is measured in bels (similar to decibels), on a scale from 0 (barely perceptible) to 13 (the loudest). Most air conditioners operate at 8 to 9 bels. The quietest units operate at 6.8 bels. This may not sound like a wide range, until you learn that a 9-bel unit is 10 timeslouder than an 8-bel unit. In other words, one 9-bel unit makes as much noise as 10 8-bel units put together.

Comfort Features

Some air conditioners come additional features that provide greater comfort. Two-speedunits can run on low-speed (using about 50% of the energy) 80% of the time. Consequently, they use fewer on/off cycles and produce fewer drafts and much small temperature swings.

Select the Correct Size

In order to achieve comfortable cooling and dehumidification, the system must be correctly sized. The size of central air conditioning is measured in tons. (1 ton = 12,000 BTU/HR).

As a general rule of thumb, you need one ton of cooling for each 500 square feet of living space. This ratio assumes that the space you are cooling has standard 8 foot ceilings, that windows make up less than twenty percent of southern facing walls, that your windows have drapes or blinds and that you close them during the heat of the day, and that your walls and attic are insulated.

The chart below offers a general guideline for sizing residential systems.

House Size Size of Central Air System
800 - 1,000 sq. ft. 2 Ton
1,000 - 1,200 sq.ft. 2 1/2 Ton
1,200 - 1,500 sq.ft. 3 Ton
1,500 - 1,800 sq.ft. 3 1/2 Ton
1,800 to 2,000 sq.ft. 4 Ton
2,000 - 2,500 sq.ft. 5 Ton

Keep in mind that this is only a guideline and that skylights, type of insulation, the number and size of south facing windows, protective shade trees, etc. can significantly effect the size of system required. Ideally, the technician should perform a load calculation to determine what size unit would best suit the space to be cooled and heated.

Note that when it comes to air conditioning equipment, bigger is not always better. An over size unit will lower the temperature too quickly and will shut off before it has an opportunity to properly dehumidify the air being conditioned. Excessive humidity can create an environment which facilitates the growth of mold.