Facing the Coastal Bend’s long, sizzling summer, if you’ve been planning to upgrade your home’s cooling system, there’s no time like the present. However, it will pay big dividends if you follow some simple guidelines when buying a new air conditioner.
What do you want? First thing, you’ll need to decide between a split-system air conditioner, a package unit, one or more room air conditioners, a split-system heat pump or a ductless mini-split system. Assuming your home is outfitted with ductwork, your best bet is a split-system A/C (or heat pump if you’re looking for an all-season solution). As for brands, stick with an established name with a reputation for quality.
What efficiency level? Air conditioners come in a variety of efficiency levels, mainly rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). This tells how much energy input is converted into cooling over a season. The higher the SEER, the lower the energy bills over the system’s lifetime and the higher the upfront cost. In South Texas’ warm climate, it’s prudent to pay for the highest level of cooling efficiency you can afford. Any extra cost of purchasing your new air conditioner will be repaid relatively quickly in lower energy bills.
What capacity? Don’t make the mistake of assuming bigger is better when it comes to central A/Cs. You’ll want a cooling system that’s been sized to fit your home’s square footage and layout, its energy efficiency, and other unique characteristics. An A/C that’s too large or too small will waste energy, struggle to provide thorough cooling, and be prone to more breakdowns.
What about maintenance? Strongly consider some sort of maintenance agreement that provides regular maintenance and other benefits. Your A/C will never deliver on its advertised efficiency and performance unless it’s provided with regular professional maintenance (along with simple maintenance by the homeowner).
Advanced features? Features such as a variable-speed air handler motor, multi-stage compressor and thermal expansion valve will save energy and money over the long term.
For help choosing a quality new air conditioner for your Corpus Christi area home, please contact us at Mathews CCAC Inc.
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 buying a new air conditioner and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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