I’m considering installing a new central air conditioner. What type should I buy?
Look for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) for the unit. A high SEER indicates a more energy efficient air conditioner. New air conditioners sold in Canada have SEERs ranging from 10 to 17, with 17 being the most energy efficient and 10 being the least.
Types of Refrigerant used in Air Conditioners
The types of refrigerant used in the unit should also be a consideration. The two types of refrigerant available are R-22 (Freon) and R-410A (Puron).
Until recently, Freon was the only type of refrigerant available in air conditioners. However, Freon contains chlorine compounds, which if released into the atmosphere due to normal wear and tear or equipment failure, helps to destroy the ozone layer and contributes to global warming. Recent international agreements have created a plan to cease production of Freon in the next few years. This has already effectively reduced the world’s supply of Freon, driving up its cost to the consumer.
Puron does not contain the same ozone-depleting properties as Freon. Both Freon and Puron air conditioning systems are available. However, the benefits of installing a Puron system should be evaluated when considering repairing an older system or installing a newer system.
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