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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Considering A/C Repair or Replacement? Mind the Insulation & Ductwork

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Mon, Jun 02, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

woman considering airconditioning replacementA/C repair or replacement may sound like a straightforward home improvement job, but in reality, there are numerous behind-the-scenes design complexities few homeowners notice.

Unlike refrigerators and washing machines, air conditioners aren't "plug and play." They're complex systems that must be individualized for each home if they're to perform effectively and efficiently. This is particularly important in the greater Cleveland area given our hot, humid summers.

Insulation Matters

Your home's cooling load is, simply put, how much energy is required to cool it. The cooling load is influenced by many factors, including the type, size and number of your windows, how much sun your home receives, insulation type and levels and your home's air leakage- just to name a few..

Before you consider A/C repair or replacement, upgrade your insulation as necessary. Because ceiling heat gain accounts for around 15 to 25 percent of your cooling load, the level of attic insulation should be the first thing you check. Also inspect for air leaks around windows, doors, utility line penetrations and other common leak spots and seal leaks with caulk or weatherstripping.

Get the most out of your hvac system

To accurately calculate your home's cooling load, an HVAC technician should follow Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J or some other industry accepted load estimate process. A load estimate accounts for many factors that affects sizing your new HVAC system (Furnace and/or air conditioner) and provides far more accurate system sizing results than using square footage alone.

Ducts Require Careful Design

Your air conditioner depends on ductwork to reach it highest efficiency. This component is critical to evaluate because if badly designed and constructed, ducts can knock down your system's efficiency by 10 to 30 percent, wasting the money you invested in purchasing a high efficiency A/C system.

For ductwork design, a conscientious technician will use Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual D, which accounts for duct size and type, layout, balance of airflow and many other issues that influence the ductwork's efficiency and performance.  

Because your home's construction and duct design affect your A/C's performance, they should never be left out of repair or replacement decisions.

If you need A/C repair or replacement and want reliable technicians who won't cut corners, contact us at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We're proud to serve homeowners in the greater Cleveland area.


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Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for over 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Paul is the Chairman of COSE's Energy Advisory Council. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: duct work, insulation, A/C repair or replacement

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