Air Conditioning

Central Air Clearance

Air Conditioner Size

Two major decisions should guide your purchase of a room air conditioner. Buy a correctly sized unit. Buy an energy-efficient unit. If the room is very sunny, increase capacity by 10%. If the unit is for a kitchen, increase the capacity by 4,000 Btu per hour.

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Central Air Clearance

AC Rating

Air conditioners are rated by the number of British Thermal Units (Btu) of heat they can remove per hour. Another common rating term for air conditioning size is the “ton,” which is 12,000 Btu per hour.

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Central Air Clearance

AC Settings

Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.

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Central Air Clearance

Room to Breathe

Air conditioners need room to take in and exhaust air and should have at least 18 inches of clearance from furniture, plants, and drapes. If the air cannot circulate around the unit, heat may build up and cause damage to the coils.

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Central Air Clearance

Fan Speed

Set the fan speed on high except in very humid weather. When it’s humid, set the fan speed on low. You’ll get better cooling, and slower air movement through the cooling equipment allows it to remove more moisture from the air, resulting in greater comfort.

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Central Air Clearance

AC Insulation

If you have a room air conditioner, remove it for the winter or seal it up and insulate it. Water heater insulation jackets can work well for covering and insulating the air conditioner.

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Central Air Clearance

AC Fan

Set the fan on your central air conditioner to “on” rather than “auto.” This will circulate air continuously, keeping the temperature more even throughout the house and aiding in dehumidification.

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