All air conditioners are now required by the EPA to be a minimum 13 SEER (seasonal
energy efficiency ratio). Older units were on average 7-10 SEER, depending on their
year of manufacture. Higher SEER ratings mean lower energy costs. Because of these
new government requirements, it will be necessary to change out your evaporator if
your condenser fails as the older coils cannot work with newer systems.
As of 2010, all manufacturers are required to discontinue producing equipment that
uses R22, Freon, refrigerant. Freon has been shown to be an ozone depleting compound
and can no longer be manufactured after 2020. It's replacement, R410a Puron, will
be available for service work and general repairs, therefore we only recommend purchasing
any Freon based equipment in rare circumstances.
Equipment Db ratings Benefit-noise, worry-free equipment location
Condensers are available in a variety of models and designs, resulting in differences
in noise levels. Depending on its location to such items as windows, patios, and
decks, this can be a consideration for some consumers. Quieter units are in the
65-70Db range, where 80Db units are more in-line with a 'typical' air conditioner.
Equipment weight Benefit- quality
While not exactly scientific, looking at the overall weight of a condenser can give
you a rough idea on such things as sheet metal gauge, copper vs aluminium coils,
motor windings, and overall construction.
Scroll compressor Benefit- noise, quality, energy efficiency,
Scroll compressors have less moving parts and are quieter and more efficient than
their older counterparts (reciprocating compressors), making them more reliable.
The compressor is the 'engine' of your air conditioning system, see the most wear,
and are the single most costly part to replace. Usually the loss of the compressor
results in the changeout of the entire system, therefore scroll compressors are preferred.