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Air Conditioning 101

Air Conditioning 101
What type of conditioner is more suitable for my home?

When the time comes to buy an air conditioning system it is perhaps difficult to choose the right one since there are a lot of different products offered on the market.

Whether you decide on a central system, a ductless system or a heat pump, an air conditioning expert will assist you in determining the right type of system your home requires in order to fulfil your specific comfort needs.

The following products are available:

Ductless air conditioning system

Easy to install, the ductless air conditioner suits all types of homes: condos, bungalows, cottages. No need for air ducts. Usually, one unit only will cool the total living area.

Ductless heat pump system

Affordable and easy to install, the ductless heat pump is the ideal system for home owners who don’t have a central system but who strive for comfort all year long.

Ductless multizone system

Increasingly popular, a multizone system is a heat pump system consisting of a single outdoor condensing unit and multiple indoor units (wall mounted, ceiling or recessed) installed in different rooms of the house to provide optimal comfort adapted to the specific needs of the occupants.

Central air conditioner

Very efficient, central air conditioner system evenly cools all rooms in the home. However it requires the installation of air ducts.

Heat pump (central system)

A central heat pump offers year round comfort: air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. It also requires the installation of air ducts. A high efficiency heat pump can mean substantial savings in heating costs.

Window air conditioner

An intelligent choice if you are a tenant or planning to move. Very efficient and quiet, it can be installed in most existing windows.

Thru-the-wall air conditioner

If there already is a sleeve in the wall of your residence, you can easily install a thru-the-wall air conditioners. They are specially designed to offer ultimate efficiency.

Portable air conditioner

Ideal for small apartments, garages or any small area to be cooled, most of portable air conditioners have casters which make them easy to move to any room you wish to cool.

Choose quality

When it is time to buy an air conditioner it is highly recommended to choose a high quality product. In addition to offering ultimate comfort their life expectancy is greater; they are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and are available at a large number of retailers.

What is Inverter technology?

Inverter technology allows the compressor to operate at an almost unlimited number of speeds. These units normally start at full speed when there is the need for heating or air conditioning. After the setpoint is reached, the units typically reduce the compressor speed to pump just enough refrigerant to match the requirements of the home. This provides energy savings as well as longer cycles. The longer operating cycles provide more cleaning/filtering of the homes' air and more even temperature distribution.

Life expectancy of an air conditioner

Most ductless conditioners or central air conditioners will last approximately 15 years. However many elements may interfere with this fact; the quality of installation for one and regular maintenance are key to extend the life of your air conditioner.

Maintenance of an air conditioner

It is highly recommended to service your air conditioning unit seasonally: efficiency, proper operation and reliability of your system depend on regular maintenance.

Please refer to our Maintenance section for more information.

Where can I install a ductless conditioning system?

Ductless conditioning systems are easy to install. If you own a condo or bungalow it is recommended to install the indoor unit in the central part of the home. In a cottage type of home, the top of the staircase is the most appropriate area. The units should always be installed as close as possible to the ceiling in order to treat the hot air that sits there.

What’s the difference between R-22 & R-410A refrigerants?

HFCH-22 refrigerant contains a chlorine molecule which damages the ozone layer. Since January 1st, 2010 it is forbidden to build or to import new units with R-22 in Canada. However, HFCF-22 remains available until 2020 to ensure the maintenance of existing systems. Most manufacturers now use HFC-410A in the fabrication of residential air conditioning units. This refrigerant offers almost the same efficiency as R-22 but is considered more ecological since it doesn’t cause damages to the ozone layer.

What does SEER or TRÉS mean?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (or TRÉS: Taux de Rendement Énergétique Saisonnier), an energy efficiency rating which evaluates the energy consumed by the unit versus the energy it supplies.

The higher the SEER, the most efficient your unit. A more efficient system uses less electricity and offers equal power.

Can I buy a ductless system and install it myself?


Whether it’s a central system, ductless system or heat pump type system, they must all be installed by a qualified contractor who has the required skills for this kind of installation. His technical knowledge will insure an adequate & secure installation, as well as reliability and optimal operation of the system.

Also, if the system has not been installed by a certified contractor the manufacturer will NOT honour the warranty.

Our suggestions for saving energy

With some precautions and a few tricks it is possible to reduce electricity consumption to a minimum while maintaining an optimal comfort level.

  • Keep doors and windows closed when cooling
  • Reduce use of heat producing appliances such as oven or dryer, etc…
  • Prevent sunrays from entering the home by using blinds, curtains and shutters
  • Use your unit only during hot periods; prioritize the circulation of fresh air when outdoor temperatures decrease
  • Avoid using the bathroom or kitchen fans for too long
  • Use a programmable thermostat