When buying a new A/C, it can pay to consider cooling capacity, reliability, and energy efficiency.
Your A/C unit is one of the most expensive yet most important features in your home. Air conditioners last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, so it’s only a matter of time before you’ll find yourself in the middle of deciding which A/C unit to buy. Because they’re a big investment, it’s a good idea to do your research and know what to look for.
There are a lot of different factors to consider, and shopping can get overwhelming pretty quickly. Here are three main factors to consider when looking for a new A/C:
Many people ask questions like “What size A/C should I get?” or “How do I know what size A/C is right for my home?” but the physical size of an A/C unit doesn’t matter as much as the unit’s ability to generate cool air.
Air conditioners are measured in tons and how quickly they generate cool air is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). One BTU is equal to the amount of energy needed to raise a pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. In an average home, each ton can cool approximately 400 square feet, so a 1200 square foot home would require a 3 ton unit. Some other factors go in to figuring out what size is best, though, so always talk to a professional air conditioning installer about the cooling load your home requires.
One other important note: the notion that “bigger is always better” is not necessarily true in this case. If you buy an A/C unit that’s too big for your home, you can run into problems with too much humidity. On the other hand, if the unit is too small, it won’t be able to keep up with a hot Houston summer.
Energy is not only expensive, but it’s also something that shouldn’t be wasted. You want to buy an A/C that can efficiently uses energy to produce cool air. Air conditioners now have a standard efficiency that they are required to meet. This standard is set by the U.S. Department of Energy and is called a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating.
All A/C units are required to have a minimum SEER rating of 13. The higher the rating, the more efficient your system will be. While it costs more to buy an A/C with a higher SEER rating, it is often worth it because it will significantly lower your electric bills.
Reliability and Professional Installation
The last thing you want to do is find yourself buying another new A/C unit only a couple of years down the road. Before you decide which unit to get, research different brands and compare reliability ratings. Most air conditioners come with some type of warranty, so read over the details carefully to make sure you understand the terms and restrictions.
You also want to choose a professional air conditioning technician that will install your unit correctly. At Richmond’s Air, we have a team of dedicated professionals that will help you find the A/C that fits your needs and experienced technicians that will install it the right way.
If you’re in need of a new A/C unit, contact Houston area’s air conditioning experts at Richmond’s Air to schedule a consultation.