HomeStars sat down with Michael Grochmal, President of Atlas Care Heating And Cooling to ask a few
questions about the best options for home air conditioning.
- What are the different types of air conditioning systems?
The most common types of air conditioning systems include:
- High velocity/SpacePak
- Conventional or split system (central). A split-system unit consists of indoor and outdoor sections
- Portable units
- What are the major differences between air conditioning systems?
Ductless-fan units (with wireless remote) and High velocity/SpacePak systems can cool air from the attic downward. Ductless-fan units can be used in many applications including in homes without ducts or built before central ventilation and for cooling a garage, a workshop, or an addition.
High velocity/SpacePak systems are ideal for historic or other buildings without existing ductwork.
Central forced air systems cool all rooms, but are sometimes not as effective on the second floor. They can work with a central air filtration system to filter indoor air of pollutants and allergens leaving you with a cooler and more comfortable home.
Portable units can only cool one room.
- Why should a homeowner consider one AC system over the other?
Homes with boilers (without ducts) require SpacePak or high velocity systems. Some homeowners will supplement a central system with a ductless or SpacePak system, especially due to the issue of warmer air rising to the second floor.
Ductless systems are also advantageous for small cottages without ductwork, additions on homes and in garages.
- Are there any Air Conditioning systems that are better for the environment, and the
Central air conditioners are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). SEER indicates the relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output.
In Canada all newly manufactured central air conditioners and heat pumps must achieve a minimum SEER of 13, although some older systems can have SEER ratings of 8 or less.
If you are considering a new air conditioning system you might want to look for higher SEER systems (at least 14 SEER), which can deliver significant annual cost savings over older or less efficient units. For example, to be entitled to Ontario Power Authority (OPA) rebates the minimum is 14 SEER. OPA rebates range from $250-$400 depending on SEER level.
- Does an AC system require a lot of electricity to run?
Essentially, the higher the SEER rating, the less electricity is consumed.
The EnerGuide rating on an air conditioning system provides a standardized method of comparing the energy-efficiency of different models and brands of heating and air conditioning products available for sale in Canada.
- When is the best time to buy or install an air conditioning system?
The best time to buy an air conditioning system really is any time, while the best time to install one is spring to fall. Early spring is a great time to install an air conditioning system as AC companies are typically less busy than they are during hot weather. Also air conditioning contractors are typically busy installing furnaces in the winter.
Atlas Care is a consecutive Best Of Award HomeStars winner since 2012, and in 2016 was also a Giving Back Award winner.