Since buying a new air conditioning unit is a heavy purchase, you should make sure that you know what to look for every step of the way, from the issues with your current system to what type of unit you need to buy for your home. The important part is knowing what your goals are with your new purchase and getting what you need without spending more than you have to.
Have Your Whole System Checked
Your air conditioning unit is just one part of your whole air conditioning system. You also have your ducts, vents, filters and other components. If you've been having problems with your air conditioner, don't assume a replacement unit will fix everything. Have your entire system serviced and checked to make sure you're not missing any duct leaks or dirty filters.
Know the Size of Your Home
Different air conditioner models are designed to service various home sizes, and how much cooling they provide is measured in tons. For example, your home may require an air conditioner that provide three tons of cooling. What you need is typically established by your home's square footage.
Shop according to the size of your home, not what you think will provide more cooling. If your home needs a three-ton air conditioner, a four-ton air conditioner won't provide any additional cooling, but it will use more energy.
Don't Shop For Energy Savings Alone
If you're considering buying a new air conditioner because you think it will lower your energy bills, you should keep your current unit if it's still working properly. There are a few reasons for this.
- Many, many factors play into how high your energy bill is, such as your home's insulation, your windows, the state of your ducts and how you use your thermostat. Your air conditioner is just one factor, and a small increase in efficiency may have a hardly visible effect.
- Air conditioners are expensive, so unless your projected savings are major, it may take longer than the life of your new unit to see a return on your investment.
Of course, if you need a new unit anyway, now's a good time to shop for energy efficiency. Energy Star products will probably run a little better than a 25-year-old unit.
Search for a Good Contractor
Not all installation jobs are alike, and it takes a good contractor to do the job properly. A good contractor will be able to find out how much refrigerant your new system needs, replace any old ducts, and install new breakers in your electrical panel. They will also tell you what they're doing every step of the way; it's important that you as the owner know what went into a new installation.
Shop around for highly rated and certified contractors who can do a good installation job; don't just get your new unit installed by the same company you purchased the unit from just because it happens to be a little cheaper.
For more information, contact a company like Omega Air Conditioning.