A quality installation of your central air conditioning (AC) equipment can help keep your home comfortably cool in the summer while saving you as much as 36% on annual cooling costs.
Did you know that a home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system accounts for up to 44% of a typical home energy bill? Nearly half of all heating and cooling equipment in U.S. homes never performs to its advertised capacity and efficiency levels due to improper installation. This costs homeowners more in utility bills and can even shorten the equipment’s life. A quality installation of energy-efficient equipment ensures you’re getting the best performance from your equipment and saving money, too.
*This Energy Lost in a Typical Installation chart is from ENERGY STAR®. Percentages are based on national averages.
Whether you’re installing new central AC equipment or replacing existing heating and cooling equipment, a quality installation of high-efficiency equipment can lower your energy bills, increase comfort in your home, and extend the useful life of your equipment. Energy-efficient central AC equipment will be:
Hiring a licensed contractor increases the likelihood that your system will be installed properly. A qualified contractor knows and is prepared to comply with local codes, ordinances, and the requirements of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (State Administrative Code, Title 24, Part 6).
The Contractors State License Board regulates licensed contractors. Installers who perform contracting work without a license haven’t been through the same qualification process and may be practicing in violation of the law.Ask for multiple bids
After you've selected a contractor, you'll need to choose your central AC equipment. This table can help you and your contractor determine what
energy-efficient equipment will be best for your home.
Energy-Efficient Central AC Equipment Ratings*
|ENERGY STAR & CEE Tier 1||14.5 Split
|12 Split 11 Package||Good||Required in CA|
|CEE Tier 2||15 Split
14 or higher Package
|12.5 Split 12 or higher Package||Better||Required in CA|
|CEE Tier 3||16 or higher Split||13 or higher Split||Best||Required in CA|
|Geothermal||—||EER- 3.0 COP-4.0||Best||Required in CA|
*Information in this table is from the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), current as of April 2012.
For energy-efficient central heat pump ratings, please see the CEE's table.
SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
EER: Energy Efficiency Ratio
TXV: Thermostatic Expansion Valve
COP: Coefficient of Performance
For AC quality installations in California, the state may require building permits for HVAC installations and modifications, such as the installation or removal of HVAC equipment.
Also, be prepared for quality assurance inspections. A building inspector may perform a quality assurance check of any installation to ensure that:
Find more information about central AC quality installations, ways to save energy, and tips for hiring a contractor here: