Investing in a new air conditioning unit is a significant financial commitment, so you should only select one that meets your needs.
An air conditioning unit that is too small won’t be able to cool your home effectively and will run continuously – driving up energy costs and leading to unneeded running costs.
When splurging on a new AC, remember to consult a pro for the right fit! Check out some guidance at River Valley to keep your cool and save on costs.
1. Know your needs
If your air conditioner is over ten years old, upgrading could be worth your consideration. Not only can upgrading save on energy bills, but new ACs are often quieter and more energy-efficient.
Consider which features are essential when selecting an air conditioner, such as whether an ionizer would help reduce allergies. Furthermore, always look at its decibel rating to understand its noise emission rate.
2. Consider your budget
While purchasing the lowest-priced air conditioner is tempting, it may cost more in the long run. When considering total costs of ownership – including any energy-efficient upgrades you might want to install – consider their total lifetime costs.
An air conditioner (AC) with a higher SEER rating will initially cost more but will save money in electricity costs over time. When choosing your unit, ensure it won’t require permits or installations that may add further expenses.
3. Consider the space you want to cool
Your air conditioner should be appropriately sized to the space it will be cooling, measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). A general guideline would be 20 BTU per square foot. A unit that is too small may need to cool your space sufficiently, leading to costly utility bills; one that is too large may waste energy by switching on and off frequently and contributing to wear-and-tear problems early.
An experienced contractor can assist in selecting the appropriate size air conditioner for your home based on factors like insulation levels, window types and numbers, humidity levels and more.
4. Take into account the noise level
Air conditioning units, by their very nature, are noisy, with motors, fans, and other components that make whirring sounds. However, excessive noise levels can disrupt home life significantly, making it hard to watch television or engage in conversation.
Regarding noise levels, 50dB sounds similar to moderate rainfall, while 70dB noise is comparable to city traffic or garbage disposal noise. Air conditioners that produce whisper-quiet noise levels may help lower noise levels significantly.
Opt for units featuring inverter compressors, which operate at an even speed without switching on and off frequently, as these will have quieter fans and are ideal for keeping you cool all year round.
5. Consider the maintenance needs
Installing and repairing an air conditioner unit that fits perfectly with your home can save money in the long run. Inefficient air conditioners use up unnecessary energy, cause uneven cooling across the room and can wear out quickly – something that a poorly-maintained air conditioning unit won’t.
Find a model with a timer to save energy and money, automatically turning on and off at predetermined times. Additional helpful features may include a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air, a deodorizer to clear out foul odors and sleep mode to raise home temperatures at night to eliminate summer chills.
6. Look for a reputable manufacturer
Investing in an air conditioner is a significant undertaking. Since you will depend on it to keep your home comfortable for years, it is wise to thoroughly investigate different products and brands before making a final decision.
One of the critical components to consider when searching for an AC unit manufacturer is reputation. This is especially crucial if purchasing it from retail locations, as customer service may often be lacking at such establishments. Therefore, opting for one with an established customer support system and vast after sales experience would be wiser.
7. Consider the warranty
Most new air conditioners come with warranties from their manufacturer to protect you against early issues, but coverage can differ depending on the model and part. Some components only offer warranties lasting a few years, while others, like compressors or furnace heat exchangers, provide warranties for up to 20 years.
Carefully read the warranty agreement and understand which steps must be taken to keep coverage valid, such as registering your product and keeping records of maintenance to avoid nullifying it; failing this, the company could not cover any repairs.