Home Air Conditioning Units – A Buyer’s Checklist

In the market for a new air conditioning unit? You need to education yourself about the various options available to you. There is always a trade-off between lower purchase cost and long-term value and efficiency.

At the same time, even if money is no object in your case, it is not true that bigger is better when it comes to AC units. You need to invest in a unit that is tailored to the needs of your living space.

If you are in the market for new home air conditioning unit, here is a buyer’s checklist:

1. Weight short vs. long-term costs: High-efficiency units cost more at first, but you will save money down the road in terms of lower energy costs. How much you will save depends upon the unit you buy and how often you use your air conditioner.

2. Make sure your unit is at least a 13 SEER: Every air conditioner has a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER). You are required by law to buy a 13 SEER or better. Anything between 14.5 and 17 is considered mid-range efficiency. Above 17 is high-efficiency.

3. Even a low-efficiency unit is better than any old A/C unit: Air conditioning units are light-years ahead of where they were 20 years ago. Even buying the least-expensive, lowest-efficiency new units available today could cut your energy costs in half.

4. If your house has no AC ducts, consider a split AC system: A split system means that the blowers and evaporators are inside your home, while the compressor is outside. A split system costs more, but it is cheaper to install in many cases. Also, the system allows you to adjust temperature levels for different rooms in the house.

5. Get a portable unit if you are renting or have a small home: This is a great choice when the owner has prohibited you from installing a system.

6. It is important to get the right size unit for your home: Many people think bigger is always better, but this is not the case. Your unit needs to keep the area cool, but at the same time it needs to dehumidify the air. If you install a unit that is too big, it will shut itself off before it has the chance to dehumidify the air. Select an AC unit size based upon the BTUs. For example, a 1,000-square-foot area requires about a 19,500 BTU unit. Consult a BTU chart to figure out the AC unit BTU requirement required for your home.

7. Choose between inverter and fixed-speed motor: Inverter-based home air conditioning units allow for variable motor speed, meaning they are more energy-efficient. They also happen to us DC controls, so they have quieter motors. However, fixed-speed systems are less expensive to buy.

8. Select either R407c or R410a system: R22 was the traditional coolant type for most AC systems, but it is being phased out due to international agreements and various domestic laws. Instead, buy a system that uses either R407c or R410a coolant. Either is fine, although R410a units are the most efficient of the two types.

Follow these steps to find the right AC unit for your home. Bring this guide with you when you shop for a unit. Or, refer to the guide as educational material when speaking with an HVAC representative on the phone.

For more information on buying a home air conditioning unit in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, visit: http://www.tomsmechanical.com/residential/residentialservice.php.

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