As a homeowner, one of the most costly purchases you will ever have to make is a new air conditioning unit. No matter if you are replacing the existing unit, or selecting a system for a new home, this is a purchase that requires careful consideration. When you choose correctly, the unit will keep your home cool and comfortable, while keeping your utility costs to a minimum. Some basic points to remember when purchasing a new air conditioner are highlighted here.
Select a Reputable Contractor
If you do not have previous experience in the HVAC industry, you cannot expect to know all the small details that go into choosing an air conditioner for your home. As a result, you may be taken advantage of when talking to a sales person regarding air conditioner sales.
Select an AC that is the Right Size for Your Home
You need to ensure that the contractor you use understands where you live, the size of your home, placement of the air ducts and the microclimate where your home is located. These are the factors that will help them determine the size of the unit you need and if you need to realign or repair existing ducts in order to improve the cooling efficiency.
Bigger Does Not Equal Better
For many years, air conditioning professionals would “over-ton” houses by installing an AC unit that was simply too big. Residential AC units typically run from one up to five tons in their capacity. For every 400 square feet, you should have one ton of refrigeration. However, times have definitely changed and now it is known that you can go with much less tonnage than ever before. In fact, you may be able to go down in size by about half and not even know the difference.
Change the Entire HVAC System
If you only replace the exterior part of the AC unit with a compressor and condenser, and do not replace the air handler or furnace, you are going to become uncomfortable in your home due to inefficient cooling, or with your energy bills. The exterior and interior units are designed to work together and only reach maximum efficiency when they are designed to go together.
As you can see, the AC unit you purchase should be carefully considered. When you hire a contractor who is reputable and understands how the system works, you can feel confident that your unit will provide maximum comfort and efficiency for your home.
Image: Phil Roeder