Which Home Central Air Conditioner Unit Is the Best?

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A home equipped with a central air conditioning unit can provide a cool oasis on a scorching summer day. Central air conditioners operate by circulating cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. If your home doesn't have central air, determine the best central air conditioner unit to install in your home by evaluating energy ratings, your budget and climatic conditions.

SEER

  • Central air conditioning units are typically broken down into three categories: high, medium or standard efficiency. The seasonal energy efficiency rating describes how much cooling the unit delivers for each watt of electricity. A SEER of 13 to 15 denotes a low-efficiency unit; medium efficiency is 16 to 18; and high efficiency is greater than 18, according to WebHVAC. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recommends a minimum 14.5 SEER rating for new central air purchases.

High Efficiency

  • The Carrier Infinity Series Model 24ANA was rated as the top high-efficiency central air conditioner unit in 2011 by WebHVAC. This unit is quiet, keeps temperatures consistent, reduces humidity, and filters and purifies the air. The Carrier's energy-efficient model has up to 21 SEER efficiency and can significantly reduce the energy consumption in a home. This model is ideal for homes where residents have breathing difficulties such as asthma.

Medium Efficiency

  • Rated as the top-performing, medium-efficiency central air conditioner in 2011 by WebHVAC, the Heil QuietComfort Model Number DXT has an 18 SEER. This unit offers superior control over indoor features such as humidity, temperature, ventilation and air filtration. The Heil's aerodynamic fan design contributes to its quiet operation. This model uses an environmentally friendly refrigerant that produces fewer greenhouse gases.

Standard Efficiency

  • The York Affinity Series Model CZE was rated as the top standard-efficiency central air conditioner unit in 2011 by WebHVAC. This model delivers 15 SEER efficiency and provides more consistent, less-fluctuating temperatures. The York features a sturdy, powder-coated cabinet designed to look better longer, while offering excellent protection to the compressor and coil. This unit offers better control over air filtration/purification and humidity levels, providing advanced climate control.

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