Buying a New Air Conditioner
Selecting a new air conditioner may be one of the more challenging projects you undertake as a homeowner. Giving each step of the process the attention it requires assures you that the system you choose will provide dependable and energy efficient comfort for years to come.
- Interview a few contractors — Unless you use a trusted HVAC contractor, it’s a good idea to interview a few different companies first. Credentials to look for include licensing, bonding and insurance at the local or state level. Any contractor who is NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification is likely to deliver customer support you can count on, along with an expert installation following the most energy efficient practices.
- Size it first — Ask each contractor you consider to use Manual J software to run a load calculation to find the right tonnage for the system. Skipping this step could undermine the longevity and efficiency your new system promises, as well as reducing your comfort. If the new air conditioner is too large, it won’t run long enough to remove excessive humidity, and if it’s too small, it may not adequately cool your home on exceptionally hot days.
- Select the features and efficiency — The minimum SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating is 13 for air conditioning systems and 14 for heat pumps. Each single digit increase in the SEER rating indicates that the system uses 10 percent less electricity. Although they cost more, more efficient systems cut energy bills and provide a faster payback.
Upgraded features in new heat pumps and air conditions not only lower energy consumption, but also increase comfort. A variable-speed cooling system will remove more excessive humidity, run more quietly and cut energy costs.
A new air conditioner will give you years of home comfort as long as you pay attention to the crucial selection details.
At Sobieski Services, Inc. our goal is to help our customers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey learn more home comfort and energy issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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