Arlington, Va. — The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today reminded contractors, technicians, and insurance adjusters in the Northeastern United States of the importance of properly matching split-system air conditioners and heat pumps that are being replaced due to damage resulting from Hurricane Sandy.
The efficiency of a central air conditioner is rated by its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). As of 2006, all newly manufactured central air conditioners and heat pumps must achieve a minimum SEER of 13. Many units damaged in the storm were installed prior to 2006 and thus are likely to be less efficient than 13 SEER. If a unit is rated at less than 13 SEER, both the indoor and outdoor units must be replaced with a system that is designed to work together efficiently.
In fact, improperly matched indoor and outdoor units can create undue stress on a cooling system, dramatically reducing efficiency (such systems are at least 30 percent less efficient) and resulting in an unnecessary, premature failure. Furthermore, when installing a new system that uses a non-ozone depleting hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant (typically R-410A), the indoor and outdoor units must be properly matched or the system will prematurely fail.
Ask for a Certificate of Product Performance
A qualified contractor will verify the system being installed is properly matched and achieves a certified energy efficiency rating by providing a homeowner with a Certified Reference Number, or a Certificate of Certified Product Performance. A Certified Reference Number can be found by accessing AHRI’s free online Directory of Certified Product Performance at www.ahridirectory.org.
Homeowners are reminded to search for contractors that employ technicians certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the industry’s technician certification organization. To search by ZIP Code, visit www.natex.org.