When it comes to split-system A/C units, not just any component will get the job done right. Unless you take the time to work with your contractor and select a properly matched upgrade, you could experience some costly problems. Here’s a look at what must be considered when replacing split air conditioning systems.

Compatible SEER ratings

In order for your split-system air conditioner to run efficiently and effectively, the indoor coil and outdoor condensing units must have matching seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings. Since 2006, all cooling equipment must be manufactured with a minimum SEER rating of 13. If, for example, you attempt to replace an outdoor unit with a high SEER piece of equipment and expect it to be compatible with your older, less efficient indoor unit, the consequences could be disastrous. The overall capacity of the A/C system will be diminished, driving up your utility bills. And the strain on each unit could lead to expensive HVAC repairs.

Identical refrigerant

Your current cooling system probably uses R-22 as its refrigerant. Although this is common for older systems, R-22 is being phased out and new cooling systems are using R-410A. This EPA-approved and non-ozone depleting refrigerant can’t simply replace R-22 in old systems. Unless both components of your split-system air conditioner use the same refrigerant, your equipment will experience excessive strain, reducing efficiency and possibly leading to premature failure.

Properly matching your equipment pays off

Taking the time and making the investment to correctly match the components of split-system A/C units will work to your benefit. Not only will this ensure efficiency, system longevity and warranty validation, but it could also earn you some extra cash. Many utility companies offer rebates for energy-smart HVAC upgrades and by installing efficient equipment before the end of 2013 you could take advantage of federal tax credits. Be sure to request proof of a performance-matched system from your contractor.

For advice on replacing split-system A/C units, contact the pros at Wood Air Conditioning, Inc. We serve residents of Mount Pleasant, Sulpher Springs, Pittsburg, Daingerfield, Mount Vernon, Omaha, Naples, Winnsboro and surrounding areas.