How to Choose the Right Air Conditioner for Your Home

Energy bills are primary concerns for homeowners, which is why it’s important to choose the right cooling system to install. During hot and humid seasons, it can be particularly difficult to go about your daily activities when the air inside is just as stifling as it is outside. Even when properly installed, your cooling system may just not live up to expectations—which can, ultimately, be frustrating.

For your own convenience and overall benefit, choose the right cooling system for your homes using the following steps:

1. Take the size of the rooms into account

When choosing the right AC for your home, you must know the sizes of the room—or rooms—where the unit will be installed. Purchasing and installing an AC that has a capacity below your needs will consume more energy in a shorter amount of time in order to provide the right amount of cooling for the room. Consequently, this kind of continuous strain on the unit can drastically affect its lifespan.

Knowing the exact size of the room is also crucial in calculating the AC’s tonnage. “Tonnage” refers to the amount of heat an air conditioning unit can remove from a home in an hour to effectively—and efficiently—cool the space.

Generally speaking, smaller units may not have the power needed to cool large areas properly. Oversized systems on the other hand will likely end up expending excessive amounts of energy due to their cycle. This can cause potential trouble with their compressors.

2. Fix your budget

While it’s important that you don’t compromise quality for cost, setting a budget (and leaving a little extra) can help you and your contractor identify the best possible unit that suits both your home and your finances. It’s important to get the highest quality AC possible, but it won’t matter much in the long run if you can’t afford to run it or maintain it. There are plenty of excellent air conditioners out there to suit different budgets—the trick is finding the right one.

3. Refer to ACCA System Design

Many areas refer to the HVAC Contractors of America as the primary source of technical expertise regarding HVAC systems. As the leading experts in the indoor environment industry, they provide ANSI-approved technical manuals and other forms of literature to help homeowners and contractors design residential HVAC systems based on factors such as home size, room usage, temperature, window placement, insulation, construction materials, and so on.

This system is referenced by multiple building codes nationwide, and is in fact considered the most accurate method for determining a home’s cooling demand. Therefore, when considering your air conditioning options, you should try to refer to ACCA literature as much as possible. You should also consider requesting an ACCA design from your installing contractor.

4. Identify what type of AC to buy

There are several types of air conditioning available units in the market. You can choose from window type, through-the-wall, portable, and ductless mini-split air conditioners—the last example is perfect for home use. Each type of AC has its own benefits (and disadvantages) to offer homeowners. Window-type air conditioners, for instance, are the most economical option. Ductless mini-splits, on the other hand, are quite perfect for home use. However, they are the most expensive on the list.

5. Know the overall performance of the AC

After calculating the tonnage needed to cool your home, you now have an idea of what kind of unit to get in regards to power and capacity. You can therefore use these parameters to judge the overall performance of the AC. You should also unit’s lifespan should also be taken into consideration. Remember; cheaper units cost less for a reason.

Hence, when choosing the perfect AC for your home, you should consult an HVAC professional. They can direct you to the unit (or units) that can best suit your needs, budget, and personal preference.

6. Determine if it’s energy-efficient

With nearly half of utility bills consumed by heating and cooling systems, it’s crucial that you get an energy-efficient unit to keep costs low. Look for an AC with a high Seasonal Energy-Efficient Rating (SEER) rating; the higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the air conditioner is.

On one hand, it’s worth mentioning that units with higher SEER are typically more expensive. However, they do make up for it with their long-term efficiency.

Read These 6 Simple and Easy Ways to Reduce the Cost of Your AC Bill!

7. Identify all potential special features

Thanks to technology, air conditioners today are more advanced than ever. Now, you can manage your temperatures more accurately with special features like programmable thermostat and zoned cooling systems. Ergo, knowing—and learning—all of your unit’s features can be highly beneficial.

8. Know the consumption and maintenance cost

While AC features can be enticing, you should still focus on the typical power consumption and maintenance cost of the potential units. This way, it won’t be a surprise the bills and maintenance charges arrive.

9. Consult an HVAC professional

While doing your own research can help, it’s important that you consult an HVAC professional before purchasing. As mentioned earlier, they are equipped with the knowledge and experience to best guide you to the right unit—one that will perfectly meet all of your needs.

A working cooling system is important—especially during the blazing heat of summer. Choose the right air conditioning unit for your home in order to utilize the full cooling experience.




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