Summer can be a lovely season, filled with fun under the sun, but the constant heat can become oppressive! Perhaps you’ve decided to invest in a new air conditioner unit to make your house more pleasant to exist in during these hot summer months but choosing the right air conditioner can be a tricky process.
Don’t worry, because in this list we’ll cover the most essential factors to consider when you buy your new air conditioner.
1. Choose The Right Contractor
In the world of HVAC contractors, there are just as many scammers as there are legitimate contractors. For most people, it can be difficult to pick out the shady companies from the good ones, so it helps to do some research on prices before you begin getting quotes.
Doing some homework on the different contractors in your area, including reviews of their services, will help weed out the bad deals. Another good tip to find a top HVAC company is to have multiple companies bidding at the same time. That way, you can get an idea of a normal price range for your area, and if one comes in at half price, you know something fishy is going on.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about SEER ratings. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is somewhat equivalent to an MPG rating on a car- it measures how much cooling an AC unit can put out relative to how much energy it consumes. This sounds like a helpful guide to make sure your AC system is efficient, making it both cheaper and better for the environment, but reality is a bit more complex.
SEER is a measure of the best possible scenario simulated in labs. Therefore, the SEER rating and the actual efficiency can vary quite significantly. A lot of different factors can affect the day-to-day efficiency of the AC unit, from house size to climate. While you should buy an efficient unit with a rating of 14 or more, don’t worry about buying the very highest SEER rating you see on the market, as it likely won’t make a difference in everyday life.
3. Consider Size
The size of the unit matters a lot. To return to the car engine analogy, having a large engine on a small car is ridiculous and a waste. On the other hand, a small engine in a minivan would also be silly. When looking at AC units, bigger is not always better.
Consult with your contractor to determine how big the unit should be to efficiently cool your house. Make sure to thoroughly inspect the square footage of the house, along with the insulation and the size of your attic and crawl space.
After narrowing down your options in terms of size and SEER rating, you can decide on a price range. Both the cost of the AC unit and the potential savings of a more efficient system should be considered. Sometimes, splurging on a more expensive unit can be a good investment if it leads to a lower energy bill or even a selling point when you’re ready to move to a new house.
For cost, don’t be fooled by brand name. Infact, many brand names come from the same manufacturer, meaning that the internal parts are the same and they are equally as good. As the buyer, you should be suspicious of spending more money specifically for a brand name.
Finally, the warranty on an AC unit is something to consider. The average lifetime of a unit is 10-15 years, but annual maintenance checkups are necessary to keep the AC unit efficient and in top shape. A good AC company will give some form of warranty that covers maintenance and repair for around ten years.
Be sure to read the fine print to ascertain exactly what you’re paying for.
Buying an AC doesn’t have to be rocket science if you know what to look for!