Air conditioning systems come in all different sizes and styles – but none have the power to cool your entire home quite like a central air conditioner. When installed properly, a central air conditioning system will keep your family cool during the summer months and improve the overall air quality of your home. Investments like these, however, require pre-purchase research and a commitment to maintenance in the long-run.
Here are 4 things to consider before buying a central air conditioner for your home:
Energy efficiency rating
When choosing an air conditioner, it’s important to look at the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). This is the measure of any cooling system’s efficiency over the course of a season of use. An ENERGY STAR® certified air conditioner will typically be at or near the top of its class, needing a minimum SEER of 14.5 or higher to meet the necessary qualifications. In contrast, older units can have SEER ratings of 6 or less.
A reputable contractor is an important part of your investment. As with any major service, ask friends for referrals and get firm quotes from other contractors. Your contractor should be able to calculate the cooling load for the house, provide you with information on the unit and its SEER rating, answer any questions you have about the warranty, and offer a service contract on the equipment.
For the best results when choosing a central air conditioner, your contractor should do a load calculation, which determines the amount of cooling your system must provide to offer sufficient comfort. The load calculation will figure in the size of the home, the window square footage, the insulation levels and several other factors. If you install an air conditioner that is too large, it will cycle on and off too often, substantially reducing the efficiency of the system. A system that is too large also loses the ability to dehumidify, which will make your home feel hotter and less comfortable. Too small, and your air conditioner may not be able to meet the demands of a hot, humid day.
Comfort at home is something you should feel – not hear. The best air conditioning units should operate quietly enough that you don’t even hear them turn on. Sound rating of air conditioners is expressed in bels. The lower the sound rating, the lower the sound emitted by the outdoor unit.
WE’RE NOT COMFORTABLE UNTIL YOU ARE™