Heating & Cooling 101 / Cooling 101

To help you better understand the cooling process, please look over the material below. This is general information that you will find helpful when working with a dealer.
Central Air Conditioning
A Residential Split System Central Air Conditioning system keeps your entire home cool in the warmer months, while it helps lower indoor humidity levels.

System elements include a compressor, a fan, condenser coil, evaporator coil, and a refrigerant. The unit extracts heat from indoor air and transfers it outside, leaving the cooled indoor air to be re-circulated. The efficiency of central air conditioning systems is shown using SEER ratios (see below).

Three elements make up a central air conditioning system with electricity as its power source. They are:

  • An outdoor section (the condensing unit).
  • A matching indoor gas or oil furnace with coil, or air handler.
  • Ductwork to transfer the cooled air throughout the home.

    Electric Heat Pumps
    A Residential Split System Heat Pump is a year 'round comfort system. In the summer it draws heat out of your home to keep it cool, and in the winter it draws heat from outside air into your home to keep it warm. Many heat pump installations have a booster electrical resistance heater that automatically supplements heat brought in from the outside. Outside air always has heat in it - even at very low outdoor temperatures.

    Just the central air conditioning system, an electric heat pump includes a compressor, a fan, outdoor coil, indoor coil, and a refrigerant.

    The efficiency of Heat Pumps is rated using SEER (for cooling efficiency) and HSPF (for heating efficiency).

    A Heat Pump uses electricity as its power source, and requires:

  • An outdoor Heat Pump section.
  • A matching indoor gas (natural or propane) or oil furnace with coil, or air handler.
  • Ductwork to transfer the heated or cooled air throughout the home.

    Air Cleaners and Other Accessories
    Home comfort is more than just heating and air conditioning. It also depends on regulating the flow of heat, eliminating drafts, and improving the quality of the air you breathe. Electronic and Media Air Filters
    Electronic air cleaners can remove up to 95% of airborne dust, pollen, odors, tobacco, and cooking particles. Advanced passive media filters are up to five times better at cleaning than typical furnace filters. Both are installed in your home's ductwork, typically adjacent to a furnace or air handler. Effective filtration systems can help maintain or improve the operating efficiency of heating and cooling equipment. Operating costs savings have been projected as high as 15% over the life of the system. Seasonal Tips

  • Follow manufacturer's routine maintenance directions.
  • Have entire system checked once a year by a qualified service technician.

    What Homeowners Can Do:
    Check Filters

  • Permanent - Clean with mild detergent, per manufacturer's recommendations, every 30 to 60 days.
  • Replaceable - Replace every 30 to 60 days.

    Windows and Doors

  • Keep closed when system is running.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip to close air gaps.
  • Close drapes and shades over windows facing sun.


  • During cooling season, don't wash/dry clothes during warmest times of day (late morning and afternoon).
  • When cooking, use exhaust fan only as needed.
  • Keep thermostat at desired setting
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