Air Conditioning Units
Modern air conditioning was invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier®-- that's right, the same Carrier® whose name is on the products Hiwassee Chase is proud to install. By 1906 Carrier® installed its first central cooling system to the Chronicle Cotton Mills in North Carolina. Carrier's® main innovation was adding the ability to control humidity to fans that circulated air. When he later added refrigeration to his system, modern air conditioning was born.
The basic principles behind air conditioning remain much the same, but the technology has vastly improved. There are different types of air conditioning units at different sizes and efficiencies to suit most every budget and space, and that can work with different types of heating systems, furnaces, and heat pumps.
Central Air Conditioning
Central air conditioning is what many people first think of. It's the oldest type, and is great for cooling large areas such as homes, businesses, warehouses, or public spaces like malls, theaters, and airports. Central air conditioning places the compressor outside the building, and forces the chilled air through a system of ducts. Ducts also bring warm air that has been circulating through the space back to the air conditioner to be re-cooled.
Window Air Conditioning
These small air conditioner units are affordable and efficient, venting warm air directly to the outdoors. Window air conditioners are often used in small areas, such as apartments or single rooms, or in climate zones that rarely see temperatures high enough to warrent the expense of a full central AC installation.
Split Air Conditoning Systems
These systems are one of then newest innovations in air conditioning technoloy. They consist of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit includes the compressor, condenser, and expansion valve. The indoor unit includes the evaporator, cooling coil, and cooling fan. This division allows both units to work together without ducts, which is ideal for retrofitting buildings and cost savings. They also are a great option for those who don't have a forced air HVAC system, such as those with radient heat or who otherwise don't have a furnace or heatpump to share ductwork. Split systems combine many of the best aspects of both central and window units, and can be used to cool just one or two rooms, or a whole house or office.
All air conditioners are rated according to the SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER is a ratio of energy used to coolness produced. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit. A high SEER rating also means you will be saving more money each month on operating costs! To learn more, the Carrier® website has great tools that illustrate the impact a high SEER rating can have on your wallet!
Correctly Sizing Your AC Unit
It is important to have an HVAC professional inspect your current system and install any new appliances to ensure they are the right size for your space. Too big a unit won't properly remove humidty from your home, because the condensor coils won't have a chance to pull water from the air at the rate it is flowing through the system. Too small a unit won't be able to process the amount of air in your space and won't cool it effectively. It is important to install an AC system that has the right BTU capacity. The Energy Star website has a helpful chart that explains the relationship between square footage and BTUs, which will make it easier when comparing air conditioners.
As always, feel free to contact Hiwassee Chase at 423-472-4569 with any questions, or to find out what type of air conditioning unit is right for your home.