5 Things to Know Before Buying a Central Air Conditioner
Below is a list of the essential factors to keep in mind when buying central air conditioners.
Buying a new central air conditioner for yourself can be quite difficult, especially when you don't know what kind of system you're getting yourself. We're not just talking in terms of payment; we're also talking about performance and efficiency. Besides that, you don't even know if the contractor you've hired is installing your new unit properly.
More than anything, many people today are looking for a central air conditioning unit that won't just offer them a cool and refreshing indoor atmosphere, but also help them cut down their monthly utility bills.
This article gives you the proper rundown about buying central air conditioners. That way, you get yourself a central AC that doesn't just work well but is also energy efficient and lasts you more than its intended shelf life.
Here's a list of the essential pointers to keep in mind when buying central air conditioners:
Factors to Consider When Buying a Central Air Conditioner
1. Look for the Right Contractor
Whether you're buying a new central air conditioner for yourself or replacing an old one, the first thing that you need to do is to look for a credible and trustworthy contractor. You can do this by asking for referrals from your own family, friends, neighbors, or business colleagues.
When asking contractors, it would be wise to ask a bunch of them and get their price quotes (at least 3). Once you get the quotes, look up the rates online for a little cross-checking to see if they’re legit.
It's also essential to do some insurance and bonding verification from any contractor you potentially hire. Inspect a contractor's license to see if it is still valid. Contact your local Better Business Bureau and consumer affairs office for any complaint history.
2. Heating and Cooling Type, Capacity, and Size
Another essential thing to keep in mind when buying central air conditioners is to inspect its cooling and heating capacity. Be sure to ask the air conditioning technician about the system’s reviews and whether they fulfill the minimal requirements and are of an appropriate size.
The standard measurement for heating capacity is BTU (British Thermal Unit).
The downside about inquiring about an HVAC’s heating type, capacity, and size, is that it is quite complicated. Fortunately, that is left entirely to the HVAC contractor. However, if the contractor sizes your new air conditioning system based on square footage alone, that's wrong. Make sure that the technician inspects your home before sizing a new system.
When it comes to cooling, air conditioners capacity is measured in Ton instead of BTU. One Ton is equivalent to 12,000 BTU per hour (BTUh). Like the heating systems, you must keep a close watch on your new AC’s cooling capacity based on the needs and size of your home.
3. Energy Efficiency
It's no secret that air conditioners and heaters consume a lot of energy. Thankfully, most models that come today are strictly energy efficient. That's why it's important to inspect the energy consumption of your new central air conditioning system before buying it. You’ll need to do this to reduce your monthly utility bills.
A heaters efficiency is typically measured in Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). Greater the AFUE number, the more your heater will save up energy. An air conditioner is measured in the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your air conditioner will be.
Bear in mind that the standard rating for an energy-efficient air conditioning unit is between 14 and 22. Therefore, you should look for a model that is rated at least 14. But you can also look for other models that come with a higher rating.
4. Energy-Saving Features
For higher SEER ratings, your brand-new air conditioner should consist of the right energy-saving features:
● High-temperature rating: (EER) should be more than 11.6 and consist of a thermal expansion valve. When you're experiencing the warmest climate, this results in your unit operating in high efficiency.
● Huge coils: greater heat-transferring efficiency
● Fan-only switch: this feature comes with a fan allowing you to circulate the air around after turning off your unit’s capacitor to reduce energy costs
Variable-speed blower: you can reduce the speed
of the fan to reduce the consumption of your
To learn more about costs regarding a new HVAC system, visit this site.
A compressor is arguably an essential component of a central air conditioning unit. This is what enables your unit to cool your household. There are two kinds of compressors that you need to keep in mind - a single- and two-stage compressor.
The single-stage compressors run only at high speed, even if there's less air to cool. This leads to higher energy bills. On the other hand, two-stage compressors run from high to low speeds - mostly slow, which allows the temperatures to remain consistent and reduce utility bills. That's why you're better off buying a central AC system that comes with a two-stage compressor.
6. Inspect Noise Levels
One of the most telling signs of a defective HVAC system is unwanted or unnecessary noises. Even though the HVAC industry guidelines ensure measures to reduce operating sounds in their units, you still need to inspect whether your new system is making noises when it shouldn't. Consult with both the manufacturer and the installer regarding noise levels that are typically measured in decibels. We suggest looking for units that measure under 60 decibels.