A new air conditioner helps you beat the heat better than a struggling system. This home appliance purchase isn’t one the average person makes often. Use this guide to help you understand everything you need to know when shopping for a new AC installation.
How to Choose the Right AC Unit
It’s true. Shopping for a new air conditioner isn’t as fun as shopping for new living room furniture or an outdoor entertainment center. But sometimes, you have to spend your hard-earned money on more practical items like an air conditioner. When choosing the right AC unit for your home, you should have some basic knowledge of Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER), tonnage and how sizing affects air conditioner efficiency.
SEER measures air conditioner efficiency — the higher the number, the more efficient the system. All air conditioners meet federal standards for minimum efficiency, but that doesn’t mean all AC units are the same. If you want quiet operation and outstanding energy savings, consider purchasing an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 15-16.
If you want an efficient air conditioner that gets the job done without spending a fortune, consider an air conditioning unit with a SEER rating of 13-14. These units cost substantially less to install and keep your home cooled, but they aren’t as energy-efficient as higher-rated models.
It’s also important to note that beginning in 2023, federal regulations will require that all new air conditioning units have a minimum 14 SEER rating. Therefore, if you’re not in a hurry to replace the unit, waiting until the regulations take effect could save you some money.
How? Well, although newly manufactured air conditions must meet federal regulations, you can still buy and install AC units with a 13 SEER rating as long as the unit was manufactured before January 1, 2023. Manufacturers might heavily discount older models as they make room for the newly manufactured units.
First things first, tonnage doesn’t refer to weight. Instead, it’s used to measure how much heat the unit can remove from the home in one hour. Tonnage gets measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). So, if you install a one-ton unit, this means the air conditioner is removing 12,000 BTUs in one hour.
Many things affect tonnage. You must consider the following to choose the right unit:
- Home size.
- Attic and basement insulation.
- Size and number of windows.
- Amount of sunlight the home gets.
Fortunately, you don’t have to figure out these things alone. When you hire a qualified HVAC expert, they examine your house and help you determine your home’s needs.
You must install an air conditioner that’s the right size for your home. If you install a unit that’s too small, your home won’t cool as well. Purchasing a unit that’s too big is problematic too. Oversized air conditioners cycle on and off too often, which causes the unit to wear out faster. An air conditioner that’s too big for your house leads to other problems like moisture retention. The oversized air conditioner can’t remove humidity effectively.
Oversized and undersized units also make it more expensive to operate your air conditioner. Undersized air conditioning units have to run nonstop to keep up with your cooling demands, and oversized air conditioners use more energy than necessary.
If you think it has to cost a lot of money to run your air conditioner, think again. You can enjoy a cool and comfortable home without spending a fortune each summer when your air conditioner is the right size.
Hire the Pros to Help You Install the Right AC for Your Home
The easiest way to shop for new AC installation is to always hire a licensed HVAC professional. The expert advice you receive from a qualified service technician takes the guesswork out of the equation. You have confidence in your purchase and know you have the perfect air conditioner for your home and budget. Call Fresh Air Heating & Cooling today to learn more about air conditioning installation near you!
Image provided by Thinkstock