Thinking about getting a new air conditioner? This is a great opportunity to save energy and lower your monthly bills! Here’s a great guide to get you started.
Portable, Built-In, or Central?
There are three main types of air conditioner installations. The first is portable, an AC unit designed to fit in a window and be moved around if necessary – these models cool down a single room.
The second is a built-in model, which is similar to a portable version but installed in a permanent location. These are popular for finished basements or similar areas.
The third is a central AC unit, or an air conditioner that cools down the whole house through connected ductwork, and often has an outdoor component.
Know the Size of Your Room or House
“Sizing” refers to making sure that your air conditioner can handle the space that it needs to cool down, which is especially important for efficiency and durability. You can easily measure your room or home by finding the square footage for that space.
Now look for the square footage range of the AC units you are considering, and make sure that they fall in line with your requirements. This is especially important if you’ve added new rooms to your house recently! Don’t pick a unit that too weak or too powerful for your space: Either option will waste energy and be very hard on your air conditioner, forcing it to run for too long or start and stop all the time.
Compare the Energy Efficiency Ratings
SEER numbers, or “Season Energy Efficiency Rating” numbers, are by far the easiest way to compare how efficient an air conditioner unit is compared to alternatives. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit is. Today’s most efficient models typically have ratings between 15 and 17, although that’s at the very top end of the market. Even one point in difference can yield 10% more energy efficient and related savings!
Watch the Blower Options
An air conditioner’s fan system isn’t always important, but it’s a good idea to look for multi-setting blowers that allow you to adjust how quickly air is pushed out – especially for portable units. This allows you to customize the effects of the AC unit! Also, watch for smart features that take care of temperature adjustments for you.
Know If You Need a Heat Pump
A heat pump is an air conditioner unit that can work in reverse – it can heat your home in colder months. Heat pumps are incredibly efficient and can help you save money, particularly if you live in a milder climate. Do some research and see if a heat pump would be a better option for your home than a central air conditioner on its own.
When in Doubt, Ask an Expert
Don’t be afraid to ask a professional! They have lots of experience installing air conditioning units and can make excellent suggestions based on your unique house…in addition to helping out with the installation.