Forty years ago, choosing an air conditioning system was very simple since the choices were very limited. You just needed to measure your window and find an A/C window unit that fit. Those days are mostly long gone. Cooling your home has become a science to innovators that are always looking for new technologies that will offer energy efficiency and bring down cooling costs in the summer.
If you are contemplating the updating of your air conditioning system, you might be overwhelmed by the choices you will have to make. With that in mind, here are 5 tips you should consider when shopping for an A/C system.
1. Set your Budget
Buying a new air conditioning system is somewhat of a major purchase. As such, you need to figure out exactly what you are willing to spend before you begin your search. Your budget will lead you down the right path towards a window unit, central air, a SMART HVAC system, or whatever types of features you might be interested in having.
Once you have a budget in mind, don’t tempt yourself by looking at systems outside of your budget. They will look good and perhaps include lots of extra features, but they will bust your budget. Buying during wintertime could lead to good discounts.
2. Consider Structural Restrictions
The structure, style, and location of your home may dictate what kind of air conditioning systems you want or need. If you have an antic, a ducted air conditioning system is a viable option. If you want to minimize construction costs, you might want to go with window units or a ductless system.
If you live in a condo, you might also have to consider homeowner association restrictions. All of these kinds of restrictions should be accounted for when choosing your A/C system.
3. Picking the Right Features
The reason you want the best air conditioning system you can afford is to get maximum comfort during the hottest days of the year. While you are mulling over your decision, you’ll want to focus on getting all the features you can. If you want a SMART system, you need to look for a system that is easy to use and understand.
Some of the other features you might want to consider would be remote-controlled options, space saver units, units with filter dryers, entering and return air diffusers, and easy access air filters.
4. Consider Your Energy Bill
If you live in a hot area of the country and plan on running your A/C for long periods, your energy bill has to be a major consideration. You would benefit by making energy efficiency one of the biggest concerns during your search.
The two rating systems you would want to focus on are the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which ranges from 13 to 22, and the ENERGY STAR® approval rating, which comes from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy
5. Size Matters
When you start thinking about the size of your system, two things matter. First, will all the system components fit comfortably in or around your house without causing any inconveniences? Second, will the output of the system adequately cool your home during the hottest days of the year?