Function of Refrigerant in Central Air Conditioning Systems & Why SEER Ratings Matter in Summerlin, NV

Years ago, when the Vegas Valley had a small population, the dominant cooling method in the area was the use of evaporative cooling in the form of the ‘swamp’ cooler. This system introduced evaporated water into the air stream and as the water evaporated it took heat with it. To work efficiently the drier the air the better. Large streams of humidified air were introduced into the interior of the house, and since air is already humidified, air was circulated in bulk and not recirculated like refrigeration does. But consider how humid the first five months of this year has been. This is moisture introduced from coastal storms in many cases. But the Las Vegas situation has changed. With the increase in population there has been an increase in humidity that severely limits the efficiency of evaporative coolers. Unfortunately, with the conversion and all new construction going to refrigeration, the cost-effective evaporative cooling is in decline.

What is a Good AC SEER Rating?

An advantage of refrigerated air conditioning is that one: the air is recirculated, and two: the air is naturally dehumidified, offsetting the greater consumption of electrical power to some degree. Modern minimum standards state that all A/C units as of 2015 must be rated at 14-SEER for the southwestern United States. The national standard is 13-SEER. SEER is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and another standard for heat pumps and refrigeration is the EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio, another term is COP or the Coefficient of Performance. The higher the SEER rating the less power required to meet a level of cooling. Some systems are approaching 22-SEER. Back in 1980s the minimum SEER rating was 10, in 2010 it was raised to 13-SEER. A lot affects the ratings. Uninsulated duct work or older leaking ducks can lose a lot of air affecting the cooling and lowering efficiency. Ductless systems rating approach 30-SEER.

Precooler Evaporative & Condensing Air Conditioning Modes

So, as we can see refrigeration will be the local standard with A/C units and heat pumps. A heat pump is a reversible A/C switching evaporative and condensing modes for either cooling or heating a buildings interior. Large commercial A/C systems use a precooler. Air that is evaporative cooled is passed through the condenser side of the system. Many attempts at adopting the idea to home systems has not proven as cost effective for residential systems. Most residential system use a mist sprayed into the condenser coils. The hard water in our area will corrode the coils, even when filtered. Soft water trades one corrosive chemical for another and can still damage the condenser side of the unit. Beside commercial systems pass cooled air through the system, not a direct application of water. Ground cooled system the pass air through ducts the ground to cool the condenser have also been tried. Another downside is that the commercial operations have staff to monitor, calibrate and repair these systems. Most residential customers do not have the time on inclination to give precooler system enough attention to make them viable, let alone the additional up-front costs.

Central Air Conditioning Maintenance & More in Summerlin, North LV, Henderson, Enterprise, Paradise, Sunrise Manor, Spring Valley, Aliante, Anthem, Desert Shores, Eldorado, Green Valley Ranch, Inspirada, Mountain’s Edge, Peccole Ranch, Providence, Rhodes Ranch, Seven Hills, Silverado Ranch, The Lakes, Tuscany Village & Las Vegas Nevada

We should be glad that systems are getting more efficient and with annual maintenance should work at peak efficiency. Air Supply Conditioning & Heating can handle all your air conditioning needs. Contact us today!