Air Conditioning Guide

 Air Conditioning Guide

Air Conditioning Guide


US Mechanical Services outlines a comprehensive resource to guide you in your next purchase of an air conditioning system. We want you to make an informed decision so that you can maximize the use of your air conditioning unit. Aspects such as energy consumption and efficiency are considered so that you can choose the right AC system for your needs. If you are ready to make a decision, then talk to one of our professionals so that you can have expert advice on your new air conditioning unit.


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Some AC Terms that You Must Know


As a consumer, you should know the different terms used in air conditioning so that you can be informed about the different specifications when it comes to usage, energy efficiency, expected life and performance, repair and maintenance, and other technical details. Here are some important terms for you to know.


Ambient Temperature - Temperature of surrounding air. In AC units, ambient temperature refers to the outside temperature.


BTU - Short for British Thermal Unit. This is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water to 1° F. Energy of substances are rated in relation to water as standard of measurement.


Compressor - AC component that reduces the volume and increases the pressure of a refrigerant.


Condensation - Process of changing a gas into a liquid.


Expansion Valve - Component that restricts the flow of high-pressure refrigerant to reduce pressure.


Filter - Used to separate or remove foreign matter from the refrigerant.


Joule - The metric unit of energy or heat (1 BTU = 1055 Joules)


Watt - Capacity of air conditioning measured in energy per unit time (1 W = 3.412 BTU/hr)


In addition, other important aspects to know are the following:


SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) - SEER measures the ratio of cooling capacity to power input. A higher SEER denotes a more efficient air conditioner. When the SEER rating is high, the more work is obtained out of the equipment for the same dollar amount of energy. A lower SEER rating means lower production. Furthermore, the more efficient the system, the cheaper it is to operate, and more energy-efficient systems are also better for the environment.


Humidity - The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. In a room, humidity is also referred to atmospheric moisture. Because of humidity, you can feel warm even if the AC system is constantly running. Therefore, choosing an AC unit with humidity control can make your home more comfortable and can save you up to $300 per year.


Modulated AC - Systems that vary the amount of energy used to operate the AC system. This means less energy expenses and a comfortable indoor environment.


Heat Pumps - Device that pumps heat out of the air inside your home and moves it outdoors. The inverse operation is used to heat a home. This method is a significantly more efficient way of transferring heat and thus is a good choice for an AC system. Heat pumps, however, may be more expensive and are more difficult to retrofit.


Types of AC Systems


Selecting the right air conditioning system is an important decision. Your choice greatly contributes to the comfort and convenience of the occupants and the efficiency of your home. In addition, it affects the overall value of your home.


Here are some of the most common air conditioning types.


Types of Air Conditioners


Window AC Units


This AC unit is self-contained or stand-alone, which means that it includes all of the necessary components in one box: the condenser, compressor, expansion valve, and others. Window AC units are usually installed on top of the window frame, commonly used for single rooms as they eject heat out of the outer end and emit cool air on indoor end. Although window units do not necessarily have to be installed in "windows," as they can be placed in a properly measured hole in an exterior wall, this method is not recommended.


Split Systems


As the name implies, this type of air conditioner consists of components that are split: a compressor unit that is installed outside and one or more indoor air outlets. In particular, the larger outdoor unit includes the condenser, compressor, and expansion valve. These units take up significantly less space and emit less noise than window units. They are used to cool one or more rooms or an open area.


Inverter-type ACs


Inverters are used in AC units to vary the speed of the compressor and keep the set temperature within a narrow range, as opposed to conventional air conditioners, where the compressor is always used in full capacity. As a result. Inverter-type ACs are generally more efficient and can cost less to run. However, they may require a relatively higher upfront costs than window-type and split systems.


Central Air Conditioning


Perhaps the most superior choice for an AC system is the central AC. In essence, central systems generate cool air in one place and distribute the air to the different parts of the room. This type of system is the most comfortable, quietest, and most efficient AC system to date.


Central AC systems consist of two different units connected by refrigerant tubing. A large portion is the condensing unit, found outside the house holds the compressor, condensing coils, and fan. On the other hand, the evaporating unit includes the evaporator coil and expansion valve.


How Much Am I Looking to Spend on These Different Types?


Window-type units typically range between $300 and $1000, whereas a split system can cost more - about $800-$3000. Inverter systems cost about $500 more on average than conventional systems, whereas central AC systems depend on the size of the area considered and generally cost an average of $5000.


Are There Ways to Lower the Initial Costs?


To offset the cost of AC systems, it is possible to use rebates or tax breaks from federal or state agencies. For example, federal income tax credits are provided for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR products that are eligible for tax credits are independently certified to save energy and money and to protect the environment. You can use up to 30% less energy in your home by outfitting it with ENERGY STAR products available across more than 70 categories. According to, the following outlines the 2017 Federal Tax Credits:


Tax Credit: 30% of cost with no upper limit

Expires: December 31, 2021

Tax credits for Solar Energy Systems are available at 30% through December 31, 2019.

The credit decreases to 26% for tax year 2020; drops to 22% for tax year 2021 then expires December 31, 2021)

Details: Existing homes and new construction qualify. Both principal residences and second homes qualify. Rentals do not qualify.


What Are Other Ways to Save on Energy?


As mentioned, checking for AC systems ratings can allow you to choose the most appropriate unit for your energy requirements. After determining the capacity that you need, you can compare energy ratings of different models. Higher ratings mean more efficient operation and lower operating costs.


You can also check the availability of a demand response program from your local power company. Demand response offers a chance for consumers to participate in the operation of the electric grid by reducing or shifting their electricity usage during peak periods in response to time-based rates or other forms of financial incentives. Such a program can lower the cost of electricity. Power companies can cycle AC systems during periods of peak demand in exchange for a financial incentive and lower electric bills.


What Size of AC System should be Used?


Calculating the required cooling capacity of your new AC plays a major role in the operation of the devices, the comfort levels, the energy used, and thus the expenses. An AC system that is excessively large can run short cycles to achieve the target temperature, thus sacrificing efficiency. This is analogous to constantly tapping the gas pedal of your car to maintain speed instead of applying constant pressure. It may also lead to inadequate dehumidification because of the high amount of cool air being blasted, thus failing to improve air quality.


On the other hand, an underpowered AC system must always run at maximum output while failing to reach comfortable air conditions, which may result in excessive wear.


Climate Considerations


Every air conditioning unit has a recommended range of outdoor temperature operation, which averages from 14 F to 113 F or more. This range covers most areas in the U.S. including Illinois, but make sure to check the operating range before buying and cross check the temperature with any extremes in your area.


Furthermore, during the winter frost may accumulate on the heat exchanger coils in the outside unit. Some AC units have automatic de-icing, and you may want to consider this feature especially when you live in a cold area.


Other Considerations


Frequency of Use


Other things to consider include the frequency of use. If you run a business, then you want an AC unit that can run reliably for hours while being cost-efficient. A homeowner with a small space can opt for a cheap AC unit, as the use of the system is more irregular.




In addition, noise is another factor that must be considered, as this can greatly affect different activities such as carrying out a conversation or sleeping. Many building codes implement noise restrictions in the used of AC systems. It is good to check local regulations and installation setup before buying, especially if the outdoor unit must be installed close to another's premises.


Internal and External Wall Material


In relation to the noise consideration, the material used for the exterior and interior walls of a home or building plays a major role in the way noise is suppressed from the outside. It also affects the performance of mounted appliances, as the wall needs to bear the load and withstand the movements/vibration or the appliance during operation. Involve proper bracing if necessary.


Air Conditioning Bloomington IL


Professional Help with Air Conditioners


After checking your home and determining the appropriate size and capacity of an AC system, you should consult a professional for expert help. Visit or call U.S. Mechanical Services so that we can visit your premises and recommend the right type of system for you. We want you to have energy-efficient AC systems that can provide the comfort levels you need for your home or place of business. Our years of experience have helped homeowners and business owners install, troubleshoot, and repair reliable air conditioning systems. Furthermore, with regular maintenance, these appliances can work efficiently for a long time. Trust U.S. Mechanical Services today for professional help with AC systems in Bloomington IL.


Get in touch with us today.


Air Conditioning Experts - U.S. Mechanical Services