Air Conditioning: What’s it about?

It’s all about “AIR!”

First, your home’s air conditioning system must be sized correctly to provide the proper CFM of air and BTUs of cooling to each room of your home.

What is CFM?
CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is a measure of volume of airflow rate. Visualize a basketball. A basketball is approximately 1 cubic foot in volume.

How many CFM’s does your system require?
For example, a typical 3 ton system (36,000 BTUs) requires a minimum of 1,050 CFM to a maximum of 1,200 CFM to perform to manufacturer’s specifications.

What are BTUs?
(British thermal unit) – 1 BTU is equal to the heat produced by burning a single wooden match or can be defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1°F.

Once you have the proper airflow, you can cool it, heat it, dehumidify it and clean it, to provide you and your family with total personal comfort.

Bedroom airflow issues
How to know if it is a lack of supply air or lack of return air:

FIRST: Does the room cool fine during the day with the entrance door open?

SECOND: Is your problem only when the door is closed for privacy issues?

THIRD: If the room cools satisfactorily and only has issues when the door is closed, add a properly sized return air grill with duct work ran back to the air handler plenum.

FOURTH: If cooling is not adequate with door open, increase airflow supply, enlarge supply duct or add additional supply register with accompanying duct work coming from supply air plenum, plus add a return grill with accompanying duct work ran back to return plenum for good performance.

NOTE: The new building code requires all major rooms to have properly sized return air grills to allow free flow of return air back to air handler.

R-22 Refrigerant Phase-Out

R-22 Refrigerant Phase-Out per Federal Government (EPA) Ozone Layer Protection

R-22 is a common refrigerant that is currently being phased out in the U.S. due to its very high potential to exacerbate ozone-depletion (R-22 is also a global warming gas). U.S. EPA has tried to reduce use of this material by imposing strict quotas on its production. Since 2010, the agency has also banned sale of new air-conditioning units containing the compound.

Overview on refrigerant phase-out and leakage of refrigerant from your air conditioning system:

Leakage: Fact–Since your air conditioning system has a sealed refrigerant circuit, it should never leak.

If you are told leakage is normal, this statement is a lie.

If you are told that it’s against the law to add refrigerant, this is also a lie.

Refrigerant leak dilemma!

  1. First thing that happens is a very small leak will cause your system to lose its ability to dehumidify. So you lower your thermostat to compensate, which drives your power bill up.
  2. As more leakage occurs, you start to lose the ability to cool so your system runs longer—driving your power bill higher yet.
  3. As more leakage occurs, your evaporator coil will freeze up, your coil will turn into a block of ice—which now blocks airflow—and when it thaws, the excess water can damage ceilings and your personal property.
  4. The worst hasn’t happened yet; you could destroy your compressor.
  5. Find the leak, repair the leak, and recharge to proper manufacturers requirements. If you have an R-22 refrigerant system, it will be very, very expensive. Due to government regulations, the cost of R-22 is 200 times what it was only a few years ago.

If your system has developed a refrigerant leak, NOW may be a good time to plan on replacing with a new high efficient R-410A refrigerant product. This is the newest refrigerant available today.


Air conditioning is a mechanical method to provide you, the homeowner, with indoor cooling comfort. Efficiency of an air conditioning system will range between the minimum allowed in Florida of 14 SEER to approximately 24 SEER. Since your Florida home is in the cooling mode, approximately 2800 hours of run time per year, you can see where the higher efficiency products make financial sense. The high efficiency products that are also two speeds really provide your home with superior comfort, humidity control, quietness and energy savings.

What is a SEER?
The SEER rating of a unit is the cooling output in BTU’s during a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input in watt-hours during the same period. The higher the unit’s SEER rating, the more energy efficient it is.