As the Spring and impending warmer weather quickly approach it’s not a bad time to inspect on whether your current air-conditioner is up for another rigorous cooling season. We generally recommend running your current HVAC system until it dies completely but costly, consistent repairs or an old unit that is a huge energy drain are ripe circumstances for a replacement. When it does come time to search for a new air-conditioner, follow these tips to make sure you find the correct replacement.
What Type of A/C?
Most of our clients who are looking for a replacement for their malfunctioning air-conditioner will opt for a new system of the same type since the infrastructure for that type is already in place. What this basically means is that if you already have a central A/C, split-duct system, geothermal, etc. it’s most convenient to buy a replacement of that type. Of course in new home builds, additions, or when customers are simply looking for an upgrade it may be worthwhile to investigate all your options. Contact us for more information depending on your home’s size, your budget, your cooling needs, etc.
Air Conditioner Size
Finding the correct size air-conditioner is crucial and arguably the most important aspect of selecting a new unit. Air-conditioners simply can’t be purchased with the ‘bigger is better’ mantra because A/Cs not only cool the room, but condition it as well. An air-conditioner will cycle out existing air, remove the moisture from it, and send it back in chilled and dry. An A/C that is too big will cool the room too fast and thus won’t have time to remove the moisture from the air. In comparison, a unit that is too small will cycle too frequently and drive up utility bill costs.
If you find yourself needing a new air-conditioner – consider yourself lucky. Granted, the upfront costs can sometimes be difficult to procure but you’ll soon find yourself with money left over every month thanks to lower energy consumption. That is, of course, as long as you find a new A/C that is as energy efficient as possible. Make sure to purchase an air-conditioner that has a high seasonal energy efficiency (SEER) rating and high energy efficiency ratio (EER). The better these ratings, the lower the electrical input needed to operate the systems which results in more manageable utility bills.
A few other features are nowadays considered “must-haves” instead of extras. One example is a dual-speed cooling fan which increases the energy efficiency by using one fan to cool the room and other to help maintain that temperature. These are used with adjustable and programmable thermostats to control temperatures at peak times as well as down periods. Another feature that sets apart different A/C units from each other is the length and type of warranty offered. You can really recoup your investment knowing it will last 12-15+ years based on the manufacturer warranty.
Regardless of what type of air-conditioner you end up getting installed in your building, it is up to the homeowner to help get the most from its lifespan. This means having adequate insulation installed in the walls and attic while having regular maintenance performed on the unit.