Spencer Heating and Air Conditioning Cooling 101

When it comes to home comfort, understanding heating and cooling equipment can be complicated. At Spencer Heating and Air Conditioing, we want to make it simple. We have the tools that provide home comfort, and want to give you the tools to make the right choices. It starts with learning the basics. From HVAC to Indoor Air Quality and more, we’ve got your comfort covered.

Cooling 101

An air conditioner cools and dehumidifies indoor air by transferring heat from inside a structure to the outdoors.  All central air conditioners employ three pieces of equipment.  The indoor coil is located downstream from the blower and removes heat from the air stream.  The outside condenser expels the heat.  The blower circulates conditioned air through the duct system.


Air conditioners are rated by SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ration).  For every one SEER increase, electricity usage is reduced roughly 10%.  As a ratio, this percentage decreases as the SEER rating rises above 10 SEER.  Houses built prior to 1992 would normally have a/c's with ratings of 7-8 SEER.  In 1992 the EPA set the minimum allowed at 10 SEER.  In January 2006 that minimum was raised to 13 SEER (making most of today's equipment appear "obsolete").  Today's standard efficiency 13 SEER a/c units use about 23% less electricity than a 10 SEER unit (produced in 1992 - 2005), and about 46% less than a 7 SEER unit (units produced prior to 1992).

Did you know...It is common for manufacturers to take the highest rating number possible for an air conditioner and then use that number in the unit's name(for example, having 15 in the model number does not mean what you are buying will get 15 SEER).  This practice is misleading and is capitalized on by a/c companies.  An air conditioner can be assigned an efficiency rating only after it is determined which indoor coil it will be matched with.  We always let you know what you will be getting. Ask your a/c company to tell you what the engineering specs say, or call us and we'll be glad to look it up.

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