What should you do when only one side of your split air-conditioning system starts acting up? Your initial thought may be to simply replace the ailing component, but the answer is more complex than that. Here’s a look at why the two sides of your system must match, and why that likely will mean a full system replacement.
In split system A/Cs, the right match means everything
Split air-conditioning systems are only able to run efficiently and effectively when both the indoor evaporator/air handler and outdoor condensing unit are properly paired together. This is why they’re usually sold as one system, with each side engineered to work with the other. If they are mismatched, you’ll start experiencing problems.
If the efficiency ratings of the system’s components are not the same, for example, you’ll run into trouble as both sides of your air conditioner struggle to work with each other. This could result in higher energy bills, excessive strain on your equipment and expensive repairs.
Refrigerant is another big factor in the compatibility of a split air conditioning system. If the indoor unit utilizes R-22 refrigerant while the outdoor unit relies on the newer refrigerant formula, R-410A, you could end up with issues ranging from poor performance to premature equipment failure.
Finding a compatible replacement unit may not be easy – or possible
Finding a replacement unit that will work efficiently with your current equipment is more difficult than you might imagine. For starters, if your system has a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 12 or below, you won’t be able to find a suitable match. This is because today’s air conditioners are required to have a minimum SEER of 13. You’ll also struggle to find a match if your system utilizes R-22 as its refrigerant. Out of environmental concerns, R-22 is being phased out. New A/Cs run on R-410A. Ultimately, your best bet is to work with your HVAC contractor to select a new system.
Need more advice on replacing your split air-conditioning system? Please contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing, and we’ll try to help. We proudly serve the greater Cleveland area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about split air-conditioning systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock