One of the worst circumstances to cause you to buy a new air conditioner is when yours just died, it’s hot inside your home and you don’t know where to turn. You may feel the heat to just call any old HVAC contractor out of the blue and get a new one installed pronto. That’s the number one thing you want to avoid when buying a new A/C — being caught unprepared.
Hopefully, you’re reading this article before that has happened.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
To give you a broader understanding of how to buy an air conditioner, break it down into the simplest factors.
- Type: The most common types of central air systems are split systems and rooftop units. Overall, it’s best to install the same system type you already have.
- Features: Today’s A/C features drive comfort and energy efficiency. Look for variable-speed air handlers and compressors that adjust cooling on the fly to maintain continuous comfort and energy savings.
- Size: While you probably want to stay with the same type of A/C, don’t assume you need the same size. Make sure your home is well sealed and insulated, and then your HVAC professional should perform a load calculation to determine the right size air conditioner to install. Bigger is definitely NOT better when it comes to air conditioning.
Agreeing to the First Estimate
Estimates can vary widely from one contractor to the next. So, whatever you do, get more than one written estimate before installing a new air conditioner. Compare what you’re getting. Do you need duct repairs or modifications? What about a zoning system, home automation and WiFi thermostats? Today’s HVAC systems have a lot to offer.
Ignoring Lifetime Costs
If your contractor is suggesting a high-efficiency air conditioner, which is wise in our climate, ask for a lifetime cost analysis of a standard model to a high-efficiency model. This way you can see the savings you’ll gain over the service life of your more efficient A/C rather than just the first cost.
The best thing you can do before installing a new air conditioner is to contact the professionals at CCAC. We’ll work with you to install the system that’s just right for you and your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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