new air conditionerIf you are considering a new air conditioner for your Southwest Florida home, determining the best A/C equipment for your needs can be difficult. There are several types of systems, differences in cooling efficiency and a variety of features. Here are a few tips for determining the best A/C equipment for your home:

System Type

A conventional central air conditioner offers cooling only, with an outdoor condenser unit and an indoor air handler that delivers conditioned air though a system of ducts. A heat pump looks and operates similar to a central air conditioner, but it is reversible, allowing it to also provide heating. Ductless mini split systems feature an individual air handler for each room or zone, connected to an exterior condenser, and they are available with cooling only, or both cooling and heating. If you have ducts installed, either a central air conditioner or a heat pump would be a good choice. For homes without ducts or for a single room, a ductless system can be more cost-effective. If you require both heating and cooling, a heat pump or a ductless system would be the best choice.

Energy Efficiency

Air conditioners are classified by their SEER rating, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. A higher number means greater energy efficiency, with systems typically ranging from 14 SEER to over 20. By paying a bit more initially for an efficient system, you can earn that money back over its lifetime through reduced cooling costs. For systems that offer heating, look for an HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, of higher than 8 for the best energy efficiency.


Optional features like multiple-speed compressors and blower motors provide more consistent cooling and quieter operation. Zoning systems enable the temperature in each zone to be controlled independently, allowing you to reduce cooling in unused rooms and save money. Wi-Fi thermostats allow for easy programming and increased energy savings. Select a system with the features that are best for your needs and your budget.

Just contact Conditioned Air for all your options.



ductless heating and coolingIn a conventional HVAC system, as much as 30 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling is wasted, due to leaking or inadequately-insulated ductwork. A better alternative, especially for homes without an existing HVAC system, may be a ductless heating and cooling system. By placing the air handler directly in the room to be heated or cooled, and eliminating the air ducts, a ductless heating and cooling system can be far more efficient and easier to install. Before installing a ductless system, there are a few things to consider.

Installation Process

Ductless or mini split systems consist of an outdoor condenser and compressor unit, one or more interior air handlers that contain and air filter, evaporator and fan, plus a conduit that connects the two halves. The air handlers are available in a variety of styles, including floor-level, wall and ceiling-mounted models, and a conduit containing the refrigerant and electrical lines connects each air handler to the condenser through a small 3 to 4-inch opening in a wall or ceiling. Ductless systems require minimal remodeling to install, and are perfect for homes or additions that lack a complete cooling and heating system.

SEER and HSPF Ratings

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and represents the amount of electricity used for a cooling season. Ductless systems typically have a SEER from 16 to 20 or more, with higher ratings indicting greater efficiency. The HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, measures the electricity used for a heating season, with average systems receiving ratings of 7 to 8, and high-efficiency models receiving an 8 or above. By investing in a more efficient system, you will reduce your long-term utility costs.

Single or Multiple-Zone Systems

Some ductless heating and cooling systems serve one room or area only, while larger systems have an upgraded condenser and typically up to 5 air handlers to provide whole-home heating and cooling with independent temperature controls for each zone.

To learn more about ductless heating and cooling systems, talk to our team at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida, including the Sarasota and Ft. Myers areas.


energy tax credit

For many years, the federal Energy Star program has encouraged homeowners to reduce energy usage by offering tax credits for certain energy-efficient products, such as HVAC equipment and water heaters. Some products that qualify for the energy tax rebate include:

HVAC Equipment

  • Central air conditioning systems: A $300 credit is available for cooling systems that are featured on the Energy Star Most Efficient 2016 list, as well as certain models that feature a SEER of 16 or above for split systems or 14 or above for packaged systems. To determine if your system qualifies, visit the Energy Star website or contact the manufacturer.
  • Air source heat pumps: A $300 credit is available for Energy Star-certified models. Split systems must have an HSPF of greater than 8.5, an EER of over 12.5 and a SEER of over 15. Packaged systems must have an HSPF of over 8, an EER of over 12 and a SEER of over 14.
  • Furnaces: Gas, propane or oil furnaces that are Energy Star-certified with an AFUE of over 95 qualify for a $150 credit, and Energy Star-certified furnace fans that use less that 2 percent of the total energy for the furnace qualify for a $50 credit.
  • Boilers: Boilers on the Energy Star Most Efficient 2016 list with an AFUE of over 95 qualify for a $150 credit.

Geothermal Heat Pumps: A credit for up to 30% of the system’s purchase price is available for both new or existing homes.

Water Heaters

  • A $300 credit is available for Energy Star-certified electric water heaters, as well as certain Energy Star-certified natural gas models with an energy factor of over 0.82 and heat pump models with an energy factor of over 2.0.

To qualify for the energy tax rebate, these products must have been purchased by December 31, 2016 and installed in an existing home that is your primary residence. IRS form 5695 must be filed with your federal income taxes by April 18, 2017 to receive the energy tax rebate.

To learn more about the energy tax rebate for HVAC equipment, contact our team at Conditioned Air.