What to Consider Before Buying an Air Conditioner
Like any other big ticket item, buying the right HVAC unit requires that you do a little research before deciding on the type and size that’s the best fit for you home and your needs.
Do the Math
Before you buy anything, it’s a good idea to contact an HVAC company and meet with a technician. A qualified technician will be able to go through the calculations with you to help determine your home’s heating load (a specific mathematic equation that considers the size of your home, local climate, and your home’s insulation). Ideally, the capacity of your chosen system should be no more than 25% greater than your specific heating load. A system with too much heating capacity is not as efficient—it causes the system to turn on and off more often, requiring more electricity (costing you more money) and potentially wearing out unit parts more quickly (costing you more money). On the other hand, a system that’s too small for your home will constantly be running, also costing you more money.
Cost is not Boss
Though we’re all tempted to go with the cheapest option, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Higher costs usually mean more technology and features, ultimately saving money and energy over time. Reliable units with long-term warranties usually cost more, but generally have fewer problems. Also, these more advanced systems could be better for people with allergy or asthma issues. It’s important to consider your needs and the potential cost savings over the life of the unit, not just your initial out of pocket costs.
Efficiency – The more efficient a unit, the better it heats and cools your home.
Reliability – HVAC systems should be reliable. An unreliable system, one that breaks down fairly regularly, will cost you time and money in service calls and repairs.
Be sure to do your research. Compare models online, read online reviews by verified purchasers, and check out consumer reports. Be sure to talk to your technician and ask about all the models they carry – not just the first one they mention.
If you have decided on a unit or if you need to figure out your home’s heating load, American Air Cares’ knowledgeable and experienced team is here to help. They will help you determine the proper heating load and, based on your specific needs and requirements, explain all of the options to help you find the system that best meets your needs and budget.