How big a unit should you select for your home?

After a thorough inspection of your home, Continental Engineering will determine how much cooling capacity is required to keep your home comfortable.

Too large a unit will cool the space, but will not run long enough to remove humidity. The result will be a cold, clammy feeling within the home.

Too small a unit may mean that you will not attain the temperature you want on very hot days, no matter how long the system runs. Setting the thermostat at 78 degrees, an air conditioner too small for the space may only be able to reduce the temperature to 85 degrees on especially hot days.

Efficiency ratings: what SEER means to you.

The more efficient the equipment, the less energy will be used to do the same job.

Similar to the mpg ratings for automobiles, central residential air conditioners now use the designation SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).

When purchasing a new air conditioner, be aware of the SEER ratings and what they mean. A higher-efficiency unit can save 20% to 25% on your cooling bill each season. This amount will vary depending upon whether the unit operates more or less than the average of 1,500 hours, the family size and living habits, and the current electric rates.

Leave your thermostat at one setting.

While the system is running and your comfortable, it's best to leave the thermostat alone. Constantly setting the control up or down may waste significant amounts of energy.

When the outside temperatures cool down, you may want to turn off the system and let nature handle the cooling. But understand your air conditioner has been working to remove moisture from the air inside your home. Opening doors or windows, letting in humid air for a few hours, may be counter-productive in the long run.

At night, or when you're away for extended periods, you'll probably want to make energy saving adjustments to the thermostat setting by raising the desired temperature. For normal daytime activities, find a comfortable level and leave the thermostat at that setting.