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Central Air Conditioning and How It Works to Keep Homes Cool

Central air conditioning is an effective solution for keeping your northern Virginia home cool on hot summer days. It’s easy to include central air along with your heating system in new construction projects, but you can also retrofit existing central heating systems to include air conditioning.

Central air conditioning cools your home by blowing refrigerated air through ductwork. The supply ducts carry cooled air to each part of your house, while the return ducts gather the slightly warmed air and carry it back for re-cooling.

Most central air conditioning systems are split systems, with an indoor A/C unit that includes the evaporator coils and air handling equipment and an outdoor unit that houses the condenser coils and the compressor. A refrigerant flows through the system that absorbs heat from the air inside the house and dumps it to the outdoors via the outdoor unit.

If you’re considering retrofitting your existing central heating system to include air conditioning, or if you’re installing a completely new system, there are some things to discuss with your HVAC contractor that will help you design a more effective and efficient system:

  • Tighten up your home first. If you invest in sealing air leaks and upgrading insulation before you choose your air conditioner, you may be able to save money, both in upfront costs and in monthly operating costs, by installing smaller equipment than you would need otherwise.
  • Size your equipment correctly. Your central air conditioning equipment shouldn’t be over- or undersized. If your air conditioner is too large for your home’s ductwork and cooling requirements, it will cycle on and off frequently, shortening equipment life and reducing your indoor humidity control. If it’s too small, it won’t be able to cool your home adequately on the hottest summer days.
  • Consider a zoned system. Having different parts of your home served by separate programmable thermostats can save energy and make it easier to keep your home comfortable.

Call us at Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning for air conditioning installation and service for your northern Virginia home.

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