Stay Cool

Whether you’ve decided you simply can’t endure another summer without air conditioning or it’s time to replace an existing unit, there’s a lot to consider. We spoke to Scott Beneteau, SVP Business Development, at Enercare Home for the cold facts on home cooling.

By Laura Bickle | 2 minute read

Aug 14

Francisco Alvarez

“When looking for new equipment, look for the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. This is the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner. A good SEER rating is typically 14 or higher.”

Scott Beneteau

What do homeowners need to think about when looking to replace or install an air conditioner?

Typically, modern air conditioners can last up to 20 years, while older air conditioners last around 10 to 12 years. Old equipment may have to overwork in order to keep your house cool, resulting in higher energy bills. Other key indicators can be as simple as the repair frequency, strange sounds coming from your unit or foul smells — a smoky or burning smell requires immediate attention.


When looking for new equipment, look for the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. This is the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner. A good SEER rating is typically 14 or higher.

What’s the difference between central air and heat pump units?

Central air conditioning, or central A/C, is a system where air is cooled at a central location and distributed to and from rooms by one or more fans and ductwork. It provides whole-home cooling but doesn’t offer individual control unless zoning systems are installed. Central air requires ductwork throughout the house, which can be expensive, particularly in older homes that may not have ducting. In terms of energy efficiency, central air systems can benefit from efficient duct design and zoning systems to optimize energy usage. Additionally, central air systems require periodic duct cleaning and filter replacement.


Heat pumps, on the other hand, are easier to install and don’t require ductwork in each room. However, the total cost will depend on factors like the size of the home and the number of rooms. Heat pumps offer greater flexibility in terms of zoning and temperature control — they are a great option for homes without ductwork. Each indoor unit operates independently, allowing for personalized cooling in different zones or rooms. Consulting with a licensed technician can help homeowners determine which system and equipment is the perfect fit for their home.

What are your tips for maintaining cooling equipment?

Maintaining your air conditioning unit is essential to ensure its efficiency, longevity and performance. Cleaning evaporated coils, condensate drains and filters (replace if needed) keeps your equipment in good shape. Also, removing any object close to your equipment ensures you are not blocking any vents and prevents overworking. Lastly, arrange for annual maintenance by a qualified HVAC technician or get a maintenance plan when you buy or rent your equipment. They can inspect, clean and tune up the entire system.

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Check out Wahi’s AC Buyer’s Guide.

How can homeowners solve uneven cooling?

Make sure you clear out vents, switch thermostat fans to auto, and clean air ducts when needed — air flow is very important to balance the temperature at home. If you have an attic, make sure you have proper insulation.

How can homeowners save on cooling costs?

Monitor and adjust your thermostat and consider installing smart home technology. Also, repair air leaks and talk to a licensed technician about an annual maintenance plan.

Laura Bickle

Wahi Writer

Photos: Courtesy of Enercare Homes


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