Tips for Buying A New Air Conditioner
A central air conditioning unit lasts between 10 and 20 years. Therefore if your unit’s age is around this time span, you will be buying a new air conditioner soon. New air conditioning units are manufactured with new specifications, standards, and new technologies. It can be confusing, so get some practical advice from an expert technician from Fischer. Aside from pricing, you have to understand SEER ratings, the right size for your home and your personal needs and additional tips to help you decide before finally buying a new air conditioner.
Fundamentals for Buying a New Air Conditioner
Here are some guidelines when you’re thinking of buying a new air conditioner. These tips not only will help you compare units and models but also help you to understand the new
technologies involved in the manufacture of new air conditioners.
An air conditioner is essential in almost all homes. According to Consumer Report, the 2017 shipment of room air conditioners was over 8 million. Energy Star says that 13% of the utility bills spent by a typical household each year are on cooling. It is very important to choose the right air conditioning unit for several reasons.
Understand SEER Ratings
SEER, which means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, rates the efficiency of new air conditioning models. A higher SEER rating means a more efficient unit. The federal standard is 13, while the recommended rating for the hotter Southeast and Southwest areas is 14. The SEER rating can be used as an indicator on which A/C to buy depending on your location and the requirements of your home.
You need to keep in mind that when buying a new air conditioner, a unit with higher SEER rating also commands a higher price. It is best to talk to your Fischer A/C technician to find out which rating is recommended for your home. For all you know, one with a 13 rating is enough for your needs. Moreover, the minimum standard is definitely better that your old unit, which might have a 7 or 10 SEER rating at best.
Choose the right size for your home
To further boost the efficiency of a central air conditioning unit, it is best to choose the one the fits the size of your home and your heating and cooling requirements. The tonnage in air conditioners is not about weight but rather the measurement of the cooling power of a new air conditioner. Fischer HVAC technicians assess the right size of air conditioner for each home and office we serve. We make careful review of almost all parts of your house including all the rooms, the basement, crawl spaces and attics.
Before buying a new air conditioner, you should discuss the right size with a technician. Many factors affect the size of the A/C unit your buy, such as your home’s square footage, insulation and location. Do not rely on what sales persons tell you. Finding the right A/C unit for your home requires a qualified, professional technician to physically inspect your home before making a recommendation.
What you have to keep in mind is that an air conditioner that is too small for your house will struggle to cool it. On the other hand, when it’s too big for the area, it can cool your house quickly but it does have time to remove more moisture inside the house. You are therefore left with a house that is clammy and cold.
Check the price
The price of a brand new HVAC system is considerable. As a major investment, you have to compare prices. When buying a new air conditioner, the price you pay should include the cost of the unit, the thermostat, air filter of high quality, taxes, and the fee for its installation. Most A/C contractors carry good quality brands. It is more advantageous to deal with just one company. At Fischer, you’ll be able to choose a unit from reputable A/C manufacturers, compare prices, find the right size that fits your home and discuss installation and maintenance without talking to different persons.
More things to consider
Aside from the above, there are several factors you have to consider. Choosing the right conditioning is dependent on many things, including your budget. You either choose window units, portable cooling systems or central air conditioning system. Here are some tips if you are considering a window unit.
- The new models of room air conditioners with Energy Star rating have better insulating materials. The instructions are clearer as well, so leaks are minimized, as you are able to seal the unit better.
- Look for a unit that runs quietly. Some models are so quiet that the only sound you’ll hear is from the fan. The noise level from a window air conditioner is a factor you should consider particularly if you are a light sleeper. It can disturb your sleep if the unit is set on low. When it is set on high, the noise level could be very distracting.
- Consider the location of the window as a window air conditioner blows air in a single direction. It is going to be a problem if the window in your house is not in a central position on the wall. To maximize the efficient cooling of the room, the window air conditioner should blow the air directly into the center of the room. You might look for a model with swivel fan arms.
- Ensure that the unit is installed correctly. Since most of the window units are for double-hung windows, you need a through-the-wall air conditioning unit if your home has casement windows. See to it that the installation of the unit is level so it will drain properly. The unit should be away from devices that generate heat such as lamps and television sets.
- A window air conditioner also needs regular cleaning. Ensure that you can readily access the filter as this is on part that should be cleaned often. Cleaning the filter ensures that your unit operates efficiently.
- Consider buying an intelligent air conditioner. Many units are available now that you can control using your smartphone. This is advantageous during the summer months so you do not enter your home that is as hot as an oven.
- Warranties are important. Some manufacturers provide longer warranties. Check website of the manufacturer to see the coverage and length of the warranty. You should also check with the retailer or your contractor about the warranty of each brand you’re considering.
- Window air conditioners
A small one can effectively cool a 100 to 300 square foot room. A medium sized one is good enough for a 250 to 400 square foot space. A large one, with a capacity from 9,800 to 12,500 Btu can efficiently cool a large area that is about 350 and 650 square feet.
- Portable air conditioners
If building regulations or the configurations of the windows do not allow for the installation of window units, portable units are a good option. But they are costlier than window units and weigh from 50 to 80 pounds. Because all the parts are inside the room, it could be noisier than window units.
- Ductless mini-splits
If you have a few rooms to cool and your budget is limited, consider buying a ductless mini split. You do not need ductwork and one small holes are bored onto walls to allow the entry of connecting pipes.
Discuss your A/C requirements with a contractor you trust. In Seattle, Fischer Heating and Air Conditioning is the leading A/C contractor and we’ve been serving homes in the city for a number of years. We understand your heating and cooling needs and we offer competitive pricing, high quality service from professional technicians and valuable information. Give us a call at 206-202-9499 or 425-406-3050 and let’s discuss your requirements.
Image Copyright: TEA / 123RF Stock Photo