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Air Conditioning Systems

Air Conditioning Contractor Servicing Mount Horeb and Madison, Wisconsin

Providing AC Repair, Air Conditioning Service and AC Replacement - Carrier and York Air Conditioners Specialist
In Madison and Mount Horeb Wisconsin, air conditioning is not a priority until the temperatures and humidity sky rocket. That is when we notice the air conditioning box that is outside of our house is not working very well. When it is time to replace your air conditioner, there are three things you will need to know:  1) What size of a unit do you need? Is bigger better?; 2) How energy efficient is it? What is the SEER Rating?; and 3) What type of refrigerant will the unit use?
Carbon Footprint is a big buzzword these days.  We have a calculator that will help you decide which air conditioner is best for you based on how much you want to reduce your carbon footprint.  Click here to check it out.  And if you are interested in an estimate on a new air conditioner please call or use our online form.
Sizing the Air Conditioning Unit 
Just like your heating system, size of your AC unit does matter. The old way of determining the size of the unit was to base it on the square footage of your home alone by simply multiplying square footage by a rule of thumb. That would be fine if all homes were exactly the same, but they are not. Some have basements without any exposure and some have partial exposure.
Some homes have the same insulation that was put in 30 years ago when the home was built and some have added insulation. The direction the home sits also matters, as well as the type of windows. All of these items factor into the number of BTUs that are required to cool (and heat) your home. This is why our Comfort Consultants here at Olson Heating will do a Manual J on your home before we ever give you an estimate. It is the right way to do it. The Department of Energy, Energy Star, and Consumer Reports agree and they also say to only choose an air conditioning contractor that will perform the correct sizing calculation.
You will hear the size of air conditioning as tons.  (i.e. 2 ton, or 3 and half ton)  Heating just uses the btu as its size but we convert air conditioning to tons based on its btu.  For every 12,000 btus of capacity we call it one ton.  So a 2.5 ton unit would be 30,000 btus.
SEER Rating
What is a SEER rating and why does it matter to you when you are looking at replacing your air conditioner? SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a number that explains how much electricity an air conditioner will use compared to other air conditioners. The higher the SEER, the more efficient it is and the more money it will save you in utility costs compared to your current air conditioner. In January 2006, the Department of Energy began requiring manufacturer's to meet the minimum SEER of 13.  
The most effcient air conditioners today are in the range of 20 SEER.  Here in Wisconsin, most air conditioners purchased are between the 13 and 16 SEER level.  In our region, we don't have a very long cooling season to see a payback for installing a 19 SEER air conditioner--the equipment becomes more expensive than what you are saving in utility costs.
Unlike the South, where they have more cooling than heating, air conditioning contractors can install an 80% furnace or heat pump only and the most efficient air conditioner available because the customer will use it more and it will eventually pay for itself.  If you are really looking to save money and want the most efficient air conditioner, you should look at a hybrid system with an air source heat pump.  With this combination, you will lower your summer cooling costs and have excellent heating savings by not having to burn a fossil fuel.  See the Hybrid Systems page for more info on air source heat pumps. 
Also geothermal systems have even better cooling savings, see the Geothermal Systems page for more information on geothermal heating and cooling.
Refrigerant Type
At this time, air conditioning equipment is offered in two types of refrigerant, R-22 and R-410a. R-22 has been proven to be harmful to the environment; therefore, after 2009, air conditioners using R-22 will no longer be available in new ac equipment. All new equipment will have R-410a in 2010.  You will not have to switch your system after 2010 during routine air conditioning service procedures, but as equipment gets replaced, R-22 will eventually be eliminated.  R-22 will continue to be produced for air conditioning service for ten years after that. At this point, the R-410a is a little more expensive, but its cost will continue to decrease as it becomes more available. The reverse is true for the R-22. Which one you use is up to you.
Air Conditioning Without Ductwork?
Do you long for central air conditioning, but don't have the ductwork for it? It is possible with Unico central air conditioning systems. There is still ductwork that is required, but it is smaller and is run in either the attic or the basement with the venting being in the ceiling or the floor. View our Unico interactive to see how this air conditioning system can work for you.
For those that would like a more quiet option to the window units, ductless mini-splits are your answer.  These units are similar to through-the-wall units but incorporate an outside unit like central air. 
The wall unit is remote controlled and very quiet because the ac compressor is located outside in the ac condenser unit.  The units are connected by copper tubing that is run on the outside of the building.  You can cover the tubing with a cover that looks like a rain downspout.  Take a look at Sanyo's website for pictures and applications. 

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