Air Conditioning

How to Choose an Air Conditioner

As summer is quickly approaching, many homeowners are considering the purchase of a new central air conditioning system. A new, high efficiency, central air conditioning system can provide a significant energy savings over older systems as well as increase comfort during the hot, sticky months of summer. However, choosing a new system can be difficult with the multitudes of companies and options. Since buying a new central air conditioning system is a sizable investment, it is very important that you choose a reputable company to install the system. Some of the best ways to determine if a company is reputable is to ask for customer references, check with the Better Business Bureau and visit the company in person. By personally visiting a company, it will help you determine what kind of operation the company runs and if it is the type of company that you want to do business with.

When considering the different options available in a new central air conditioning system, there are two main options to consider; the SEER Rating and the type of refrigerant used to operate the unit.

SEER Rating

The SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is a similar type of rating system as is used to measure the energy efficiency of a furnace. Typical SEER ratings range between 13-18 SEER for new air conditioners. The higher the SEER rating, the greater the energy efficiency. Currently, the Government mandates a minimum of a 13 SEER rating to increase energy efficiency nationwide for air conditioners.

Many older homes have central air conditioning systems that are operating at a SEER rating of 6 below. By replacing an older central air conditioning system with a new high efficiency system, homeowners can reduce energy bills by up to 50% during the summer months.

Now is a great time to replace old, inefficient units with a qualifying furnace. The Wisconsin Focus on Energy program is offering cash rebates on all newly installed air conditioning units that have a SEER rating of at least 15.

Refrigerant Type

There are two main types of refrigerants, R-22 and R-410. In 1990, the United States passed the Clean Air Act that required the phasing out of all chlorine-based refrigerants. R-22, a chlorine-based refrigerant, has been standard in residential air conditioners for many years. Since it is not an environmentally friendly refrigerant, it will be phased out over the next decade.

By 2010, no new air conditioners will use R-22. By 2020, the manufacturing of R-22 will be completely banned. In the meantime, the cost to maintain an R-22 air conditioner will go up dramatically. A similar situation occurred with air conditioners in cars. R-12 refrigerant was the standard used in cars at the time but was phased out starting in 1990. Seven years later, the cost of R-12 refrigerant had increased 650%.

Although it costs more initially, air conditioners that use R-410 refrigerant will be much less expensive to maintain over the life of the air conditioner and are more environmentally friendly. Additionally, since most air conditioners last between 15-20 years, you will not have to worry about it becoming obsolete in the future.

Although choosing a new central air conditioning system can seem challenging, remember to always compare systems with the same options and make sure that you are working with a reputable company.

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Evolution Series Central Air Conditioner



Our newest and most efficient air conditioning system

Key Features

  • Up to 20 SEER
  • Sound as low as 70 dB (quiet as a vacuum)
  • Superior humidity control
  • Improved indoor air quality
  • 2-stage operation for maximum comfort
  • Evolution Control for ultimate performance
  • AeroQuiet System II
  • DuraGuard Plus system
  • Up to 23 diagnostic checkpoints
  • Environmentally sound Puron Refrigerant
  • 10-year compressor limited warranty: 10-year parts limited warranty

Preferred Series Central Air Conditioner



Efficient, environmentally sound air conditioning

Key Features

  • Up to 17 SEER
  • Sound as low as 67 dB (quiet as a vacuum)
  • DuraGuard Plus protection system
  • AeroQuiet System II
  • Environmentally sound Puron Refrigerant and R-22 refrigerant systems available
  • 10-year limited compressor warranty
  • 10-year limited parts warranty

Legacy Line Central Air


Money-saving home cooling comfort

Key Features

  • Up to 16 SEER
  • Sound as low as 74 dB (quiet as a dishwasher)
  • DuraFlow louver coil guard
  • Environmentally sound Puron Refrigerant
  • 10-year limited compressor warranty
  • 10-year limited parts warranty