Advantages of Central Air Conditioning Systems

  • Better Air Quality in Your Home
    You might think that using a couple of room air conditioners in strategic places around your house is just as good as central air, and likely to be a lot cheaper. However, room air conditioners lack a key benefit of central air conditioners: they don’t filter the air they’re cooling. Central air conditioners use the ductwork in your home to circulate filtered air throughout the building, raising the air quality significantly. Cleaner air comes with various health benefits for homeowners. It can help prevent respiratory ailments, improve your sleep quality, and lower your likelihood of being affected by allergies. Just make sure that you’re changing the filters in your air conditioner at least once a month.
  • Less Mold
    Having fresh air circulated throughout your home can do more than improving your health. It can also help keep your building healthy and structurally sound, by preventing the damp conditions in which mold flourishes. When you have central air conditioning, your home will be at lower risk from mold than it would be otherwise. Your building will be stronger, and you’ll be free from the health hazards that come with certain types of mildew.
  • Combine Your Heating and Cooling Systems
    People often think that the prospect of putting in a whole system of ductwork just for cooling seems like a little too much work—and they’d be right if that were the only purpose of ductwork. However, it’s important to remember that the “H” in HVAC stands for heating. Many systems come with both heating and air conditioning options so that you can enjoy total control over the climate in your home throughout the year.
  • Save Overall Energy
    It’s true that a central air conditioner might technically use more power than having one or two room air conditioners in the places you frequent most. However, if you want to be truly comfortable during periods of warm weather, you’ll need to make sure that you have air conditioning available in every part of your house. While one or two room air conditioners is certainly cheaper than installing a central system, having a separate room air conditioner in every single room certainly isn’t. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that central air conditioners tend to have much higher EER (Energy Efficiency Ratios) than window units, which means that a central air conditioner will save you money in the long run when compared to multiple window units. When you factor in how much more efficient a central heater is than a typical gas furnace, adding an HVAC to your home makes even more economic sense.


Why Are Some Rooms in My House Hotter (or Colder) Than Others?

Closeup of hand pressing button on digital thermostat

Have you noticed that some of the rooms in your home are always hotter or colder than others no matter what you set your thermostat to?

First, check for these common problems:

  • Dirty air filter—A dirty filter restricts airflow, not letting your home get enough cool air.
  • Closed vents—Closed vents in rooms can cause them to be hotter than other rooms.
  • Open windows—Your conditioned air can flow out of open windows, leaving uneven temperatures in your home.
  • Air duct issues—If you have any kinked or crushed supply ducts, certain rooms won’t get enough air. Also, leaky ducts cause a host of problems, including uneven temperatures. Here’s how to tell if your ducts are leaking.

If it’s not one of the problems above, the next likely cause is an unbalanced air conditioning and heating system. You’ll need an AC company to balance it.

What is air balancing?
Air balancing is the process of adjusting the amount of cooled and heated air each room in your home gets.

In a perfectly balanced system, every room in the home would reach the same temperature at exactly the same time. A home with very different temperatures in different rooms is said to have an unbalanced system.

Causes of an unbalanced system (and how to fix them)

Many different things can cause your air conditioning and heating system to be unbalanced.

When an air conditioning system is installed, larger ducts and more supply vents are used to get larger volumes of air into the rooms that need it.

Proper duct installation gets your system pretty close to balanced. Dampers are then used to fine tune the airflow and provide even temperatures throughout your house.
Dampers are valves that let you accurately adjust the amount of air going to each room or part of the house. They are installed on the main ducts near the inside unit of the air conditioner (usually in the attic or a closet).


House Always Seem Cold?

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A common complaint from homeowners, and it seems mostly from the ladies of the house, that their house always feels cold. They are freezing all the time. Nothing is worse than to be paying for heat in the winter time, to only feel cold and uncomfortable. After all, that’s why we have furnaces in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. There are many reasons why your home may seem cold all the time, even when the thermostat is set at your comfort level. I will endeavor to address some of these reasons, and also provide viable solutions.

  • Check your windows and doors: Older homes do not have energy efficient windows and doors. Many have single pane windows that allow heat to escape and cold to penetrate. Replace single pane windows with double or triple pane models. They will pay for themselves in no time at all. Windows need to be caulked inside and outside. Doors need to have good seals. Use weather strip around doors to prevent heat loss. A protective clear film can be installed over windows to prevent heat loss. All of these items can be purchased at your home improvement store.
  • Fireplace Damper: All fireplaces have a damper up inside the flue, above the fire box. Make sure it is securely shut to prevent heat loss. If you use your fireplace regularly, then you need to have an airtight glass fireplace doors to keep the air from escaping.
  • Ceiling Fans: As we all know, heat rises, so all that good warm air ends up at the ceiling. Having your ceiling fans turn counterclockwise in the winter will push that air from the ceiling down to the floor, and will do it without a draft. You can run your fans 24/7. It will cost very little to do so, and you will be much more comfortable. You can run them at low or medium speed to get the full benefit. You don’t have to run them on high.
  • Leaking ductwork can be the culprit. Your ductwork is where all that nice warm air travels to each room of your house. If there is a break in the line, or ductwork has come undone, then you will find you are heating your crawl space in the foundation or attic. Have one of our qualified technicians check your ductwork for heat loss. Make sure none of your vents are closed or covered up with boxes, furniture, etc


Ways to Keep Your House Warm (and Save Money) This Winter


1. Use your curtains
Heat from the sun is free so make the most of it. Open your curtains and let the sunlight in during the day to make use of this free heat. When it gets dark, shut your curtains, which act as another layer of insulation and keep warmth in your rooms. You should also make sure you don’t have any leaks or gaps so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air stays out – this also helps to reduce condensation.

2. Use timers on your central heating
The Centre for Sustainable Energy advises that programming your boiler to turn the heating on a little earlier – such as 30 minutes before you get up in the morning – but at a lower temperature is cheaper than turning it on just as you need it at a higher temperature. This is because a boiler heats up at a constant speed whether you set your thermostat to 20°C (68° F) or 30°C. But don’t make the mistake of leaving your heating on low all day – because then you’re just paying for heat when you don’t need it.

3. Move your sofa
It might feel great to have your favorite seat in front of the radiator, but it’s absorbing heat that could be warming your home. By moving it away from the radiator, hot air can circulate freely. The same goes for your curtains or drying clothes – keep them away from the radiator so that you can get the most out of your heat source.

4. Maximise your insulation
When it comes to heat, around 25% is lost through the roof. This can be easily reduced by installing 25cm (9 in) of insulation throughout your loft. It’s also worth seeing what’s going on in your walls, as around a third of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost this way. Although it’s not as cheap to install as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation could save up to £160 ($213) a year in heating bills. It’s also worth checking with your energy supplier to see if they have any insulation schemes running – which can sometimes mean cheap or free installation.

5. Wrap up warm
If you have a hot water tank, make sure it is properly lagged – or insulated. This will keep the water warmer for longer, and reduce heating costs. The Energy Community reckons that insulating an uninsulated water tank could save up to £150 ($200) a year – but even just upgrading your tank’s “old jacket” will help to save money.


Fun Facts that Will Surprise You About Air Conditioning

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We are lucky to be able to get through the dog days of summer without much discomfort. It’s wonderful to be able to sit through a long business lunch in a suit without breaking a sweat—and to come in from an afternoon of yard work and feel the refreshing blast of air greet us at the door. Or to snuggle in our favorite pajamas and not miss a wink because we didn’t have to wake up feeling like we were baking.

Here are some surprisingly cool facts about the innovation that keeps us comfortable during these hot summer days and nights.

  • When AC systems were first introduced, the output settings were measured in “Ice Power” – in other words, how many blocks of ice it would take to produce the same amount of cooling power. Now we call them AC units (1).
  • The motivation for the first air conditioner wasn’t comfort. Willis Carrier invented a modern air conditioner in 1902 for a publishing company in New York that was experiencing problems with the ink control and paper expansion and contraction due to varying humidity levels (2).
  • Approximately 88 percent of new single-family homes constructed in America in 2011 included air conditioning. Compare that figure to how only 55 percent of Canadian households had air conditioning in 2013. Sounds like it really is naturally colder in Canada (3).
  • The first fully air-conditioned home was built in a mansion in Minneapolis in 1913 by Charles Gates. Sadly, he died before he could ever experience it (4).
  • Air conditioning systems helped coin the term “Summer Blockbuster.” One of the first businesses to utilize air conditioning technology back in the early part of the twentieth century were movie theaters. In the 1930’s, patrons flocked to theaters to enjoy the films – but also to enjoy the cool air during summer months. Marketers took advantage of this trend and saved their big hits for summertime releases. Thus, the term “Summer Blockbuster” became a part of our vocabulary (1).
  • Herbert Hoover was the first President to enjoy the air conditioning. He spent $30,000 to install the system in the oval office, just after the start of the Great Depression (4).


The Pros and Cons of Central Air Conditioning

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Central air conditioning seems like a good proposal for most homeowners, especially if you live in an area that’s warm or hot all year long. Add on the adoption of smart home automation, you can stay cool during the summer while being energy efficient. But air conditioning isn’t necessarily a panacea. It has downsides you need to consider before making this purchase.

Let’s have a look at some benefits and drawbacks of central air:

Pro: Consistent temperature all year long
That’s the major benefit of this type of air conditioning: A consistent temperature everywhere in your home, all year long. If you live in a southern area, or somewhere with very hot summers, it’s the best way to keep your home cool, constantly, in every room. That’s the most common reason why homeowners buy this type of air conditioning.

Con: Higher energy bills
Pushing cooled air to every room of your home can increase your energy bill if you’re moving from no air conditioning at all to central air conditioning, obviously.

According to, “In an average air-conditioned home, air conditioning consumes more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.”

If you don’t have an air conditioning unit already installed, consider that your energy bill will increase dramatically, especially if you like your home around 68 degrees.

You can save money by increasing the overall temperature to 72 degrees or 73 degrees, turning it down at night and keeping it well maintained.

If you think you only need a few rooms cooled, such as your bedroom and the living room, consider buying window air conditioning units. It’ll be more efficient, and it won’t increase your energy bill by as much as a central unit.


What are the Advantages of Central Air Conditioners?

Residential Central Air Conditioning Units On Cement Slab

A central air conditioning system offers many advantages over conventional air conditioning systems. Undoubtedly, central air is one of the most effective and efficient ways to circulate cool air throughout the house in comparison to window air conditioning systems. However, central air conditioners offer one major benefit that individual window units cannot claim: these systems can improve your indoor air quality.

Centralized units send cool air directly through air ducts or vents located in each room. Each room can be cooled instead of cooling just one room. Ambient air is pulled into the air handler unit from each room through return-air ducts. The system filters the air that passes through it, removing airborne particles, like lint, and allergens, like dust, pollen and pet dander. Filtered air is then re-routed back to the rooms via a separate ductwork system. These systems can even trap the most microscopic pollutants.

Obviously, more expensive filters can capture more pollutants and increase the air quality in the home. Having constantly clean and cool air is a major benefit with central air conditioners.

But the advantages don’t end there. The following are other advantages that central air conditioners have over window air conditioning systems.

  • Central air conditioners make less noise. The condenser, fan and compressor are located in an outdoor unit, instead of in a nearby window. Indoor noise is barely detectable.
  • Since the working parts of a central air conditioner are located outside of the home, it is inconspicuous and does not affect the view from outside or within the home.


4 Critical Parts of an Air Conditioning Unit

Two workers on the roof of a building working on the air conditioning unit.

Having a basic understanding of what parts make up your air conditioner and how those parts work together can help you better identify a problem or determine if your AC is running as efficiently as it should.

There are obviously more than four parts that make up your air conditioner, but so as not to overwhelm you, these are the four critical ones you should know about: the evaporator, condenser, compressor, and expansion valve.

The evaporator is located in the cold side of the air conditioner. Its main function is to receive liquid refrigerant and turn it into gas, which then cools and dehumidifies the air. The gas absorbs all of the heat from the air and takes it to the condenser.

The condenser is the counterpart to the evaporator and is located in the hot side of the air conditioner. It functions to bring that hot, condensed refrigerant gas back outside to vent the heat and turn the refrigerant back into a liquid form.

The compressor is a big electric pump that works with the condenser to turn the refrigerant back to liquid. It does this by pressurizing the refrigerant gas. The compressor is also located in the hot side of the air conditioner with the condenser.

Expansion Valve:
The expansion valve works with the evaporator, but is usually located in-between the evaporator and condenser. Its job is to regulate how much liquid refrigerant is moving into the evaporator, where it then changes into gas.

Knowing these four main parts of your air conditioner and how they function can often help you figure out where the source of the problem might be if your A/C is not working properly. Some initial investigation gives you the ability to decide if the issue is something that needs immediate attention by a professional A/C repairman or not.


Today’s AC Systems are More Efficient and Cost More Upfront

Residential Central Air Conditioning Units On Cement Slab
Today’s central air conditioning systems are much more efficient than their predecessors. The industry uses a rating called SEER for central systems, which is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Essentially, a higher SEER rating means the air conditioner uses energy more efficiently. When other factors such as thermostat settings are kept equal, a higher SEER results in lower monthly utility bills for the owner or occupant. A central air conditioning unit rated at 13 SEER uses almost a third less electricity than a 10 SEER system.

Some outside A/C units are rated at a range, such as 14/15 SEER, depending on what type of indoor equipment they are paired with. For example, if paired with a manufacturer recommended evaporator coil and a variable speed furnace or variable speed air handler, an outside unit could be rated as a 15 SEER system. Otherwise, the rating would be 14 SEER.

As you might imagine, higher efficiency A/C equipment costs more to build. Why? For one reason, more efficient condensers and evaporators contain more metal in their extra coils. Additionally, to gain higher efficiency, the systems may have more complex technology such as motor speeds and electronics.


When Should You Replace Your Unit?

Two workers on the roof of a building working on the air conditioning unit.

Replacing all or part of a heating and cooling system can be a big investment. When an older unit has continuous issues or shows signs of reduced energy efficiency, it could be more economical to upgrade your home comfort system. A Heil dealer can help you diagnose your heating and cooling system, as well as help you choose a replacement that fits your needs and budget.

Here are some reasons for replacing your heating or cooling unit:

  • The cost of repairs is near 50% of the cost of a replacement
  • The unit requires frequent repairs.
  • Humidity problems that signal operating issues
  • Warranty expirations
  • High dust and low air quality problems
  • The furnace is more than 15 years old, and the heat pump or AC is more than 10 years old