If you think that mixing and matching the components of your split A/C system will work, guess again. Properly matching the components of your split system air conditioner is extremely important in achieving system efficiency and longevity. Here’s a look at why getting the right match matters so much.
Your split air conditioning system: Keeping it together for maximum value
The indoor evaporator/air handler and outdoor condensing unit of your split A/C system were designed to work together to achieve the highest possible levels of efficiency and effectiveness. If only one component begins to give you trouble, your initial thought may be that a replacement of just the ailing unit will save you money. Unfortunately, without a proper match, you’ll only create expensive problems for yourself. Here’s why:
- Mismatched efficiency ratings – Older air conditioners, like your current system, typically have much lower seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER) than those being manufactured today. If, for example, you attempt to install a high-SEER outdoor unit to work with a lower-SEER indoor unit, your new system won’t achieve the higher rating. Also, the different efficiency ratings will stress your equipment, reducing the overall capacity of your system and possibly leading to expensive repairs or breakdowns.
- Conflicting refrigerant – New air conditioners are being manufactured with EPA-approved refrigerants such as R-410A, whereas your current equipment probably utilizes the old formula R-22 that’s being phased out for environmental reasons. Two system components that utilize different refrigerants will not work well together (or at all). In fact, the stress that this will create could ultimately lead to a premature system failure.
- Warranty invalidation – Equipment warranties will be contingent on properly matching your split-system A/C for efficiency and longevity. Going against manufacturer specifications will invalidate your warranty and cost you even more money.
- Ineligibility for tax credits – Federal tax credits are available to homeowners who upgrade to qualified, high-efficiency HVAC systems during 2013 (or did so in 2012). If your system isn’t properly matched for performance, you will be ineligible to obtain these incentives.
For assistance in properly matching the components of your split A/C system, please contact the professionals at Paschal Heat, Air and Geothermal. We’re proud to serve residents of northwest Arkansas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about split A/C systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock