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New Air Conditioning Buyer Guide: Choosing the Right Cooling System For Your Addison Home




Air Conditioners

What does SEER mean?
One of the decisions you need to make is how efficient you want your air conditioner to be. You will have to choose an air conditioner between 13 SEER and 21 SEER.  The SEER rating on an air conditioner is a lot like the miles per gallon rating on a car.  The higher the SEER rating, the less electricity it will use to cool your home.  In Illinois, the amount of cooling hours (the average number of hours an air conditioner runs) per year is somewhat minimal compared to the southern states.  Because the cooling hours in Illinois are minimal and electricity rates have been frozen for the last ten years, high efficiency air conditioners haven't really made sense in terms of return on investment.  That is all starting to change.  With the electrical rate freeze gone and electrical rates on the rise.  It now makes sense for Illinois homeowners to consider higher SEER air conditioners. 

R-22 or R-410A refrigerant?
Refrigerant is the gas that runs through your air conditioning system that actually absorbs the heat from inside the home and transfers it to the exterior of your home.  Refrigerant is commonly referred to as Freon. R-22 is the refrigerant that has been in all air conditioners for the last century.  R-22 has been deemed too harmful for the ozone and no manufacturer will be permitted to manufacture air conditioners with R-22 refrigerant after 2010.  R-410A is the new refrigerant that will be taking the place of R-22.  Most of the industry's leading manufacturers have already converted most or all of their air conditioning units to R-410A .

Single Stage or Two Stage?

Two Stage air conditioners offer many nice benefits.  They have two different cooling outputs (Half Power Cooling and Full Power Cooling), depending on what the thermostat tells the air conditioner it needs. The thermostat will base that decision on the temperature of the house. Example: If you have a 5 Ton two stage air conditioner, the thermostat will call for first stage cooling (2.5 Tons) first.  On mild days it will cool your home on first stage without a problem. If it cannot satisfy the thermostat, the thermostat will tell the air conditioner to activate the second stage (5 Tons). For a very large portion of the year a two stage air conditioner will cool your home without ever needing to ramp up to second stage. When it's running in first stage, it's using about half the electricity, but only putting out about half the cooling.  A Two Stage air conditioner will run for a longer period of time than the Single Stage air conditioner, but the longer an air conditioner runs the more evenly it will mix the air in the home and the more humidity it will remove from the air.  If you experience uneven temperatures (hot and cold rooms) in your home during the cooling season, the Two Stage air conditioner should help or even eliminate this problem.  If you experience higher than normal humidity levels in your home during the cooling season, the Two Stage air conditioner should help or even eliminate this problem.  If the sound output level of your air conditioner is important (this is usually the case if you like spending time outside your home and the air conditioner bothers you when it runs) you should consider a Two Stage air conditioner.

Sound output level

If you like spending time outside your home, you should find out about the sound output level of each air conditioner you are considering (especially if your air conditioner is near an area where you entertain company).  The higher SEER units and the Two Stage units tend to be quieter than the low SEER Single Stage air conditioning units.


The following are some of the quality manufacturers whose equipment we sell and service on a regular basis:


Trane (Heating, air conditioning and air cleaning systems)

Carrier (Heating, air conditioning and air cleaning systems)

Lennox (Heating, air conditioning and air cleaning systems)

Natures Home (Air cleaning information & products)
Geocomfort (Geothermal heating, cooling & hot water)
Noritz (Tankless water heaters)
Fujitsu (Mini-Split heating & cooling systems)
Desert Aire
(Indoor Pool heating & de-humidification systems)