Your Guide to Buying a New Air Conditioning Unit

With the wealth of information found all over the internet today, it’s easier than ever to educate yourself and make sure you get the best product. Whether you’re buying a new car or looking for a different toothbrush to keep in your bathroom, the internet is a great way to make informed purchases.

Some purchases require more care than others. Large purchases like a new air conditioning unit are big investments, so it’s very important you buy the right one the first time. You have to make sure the unit you buy is the right size for your home, efficient enough for your needs, and affordable enough that it works for your budget.

To help you make the most out of your new air conditioning purchase, we’ve put together a quick air conditioning buying guide.

Proper Sizing

Proper sizing is incredibly important when it comes to heating and cooling a home. Every home requires a unique amount of cooling power, and an underpowered system will leave your home warmer than you’d like it to be.

AC units are sized in tons. For each ton an AC unit has, it’s capable of cooling 12,000 BTUs in an hour. The larger and less capable of holding heat your home is, the more tons you’ll need. Factors that play into this include the size of your home, the quality of its insulation, and how energy efficient your windows are.

For most homes, 1.5 tons is the minimum size you’ll need. This size is capable of cooling areas as large as 1,100 square feet depending on other conditions. If you have old, single-pane windows or your home seems to lose a lot of heat due to poor insulation, you’re going to need to upsize your AC a bit.

The truth is, it’s hard to figure out what size AC you need simply based on the size of your home. The best way to size your AC is to have a professional do it for you before you pay for air conditioning installation. They will take all factors into account, helping you choose a unit that’s sized perfectly for your home.

SEER Rating

Efficiency is an important part of cooling your home for two reasons: it saves you money and it helps preserve the environment. This is why you need to know about SEER ratings. SEER ratings, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio ratings, describe the maximum potential efficiency of your AC. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your unit is.

Depending on where you live, the AC unit you install must be at least 13 or 14 SEER. However, SEER ratings can go as high as 25, so there’s certainly some wiggle room in terms of efficiency.

While buying a fancy new energy-efficient AC can be expensive, it can also save you a good chunk of change and help keep your home more comfortable. Ultimately, you’ll have to find a happy medium between affordability and efficiency.

As long as you get a properly sized AC with a decent SEER rating, you should be set for the next 10 to 15 years with proper maintenance.

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