Well, it’s finally happened. Your air conditioner has breathed its last with no hope of resuscitation. With all its components either discontinued or beyond repair, it’s time to spring for a new one, but it’s not the kind of thing you buy every day, and you want to be sure to do it right.
Don’t worry. Just keep these three tips in mind, and the desert heat will have nothing on you. Here’s what you’ll need to consider.
1. Never buy an oversized unit.
The all-too-common belief that bigger must be better has never applied to air conditioners. In fact, the opposite is true. If the unit you buy is too hefty for the job, your pocketbook and comfort will pay the price.
An air conditioning unit has two responsibilities, and cooling the air is only half of it. Its ability to lower humidity is equally important. If things are in balance, the temperature and humidity should both go down.
The problem is that to do this correctly, the unit must be the correct size. If it is bigger than necessary, you’ll find that it turns itself on and off with lightning speed. That’s because the unit is cooling the house too quickly. Not only that, but each of these abbreviated run times will commonly end before the unit has finished pulling moisture from the air. A cold and clammy space is the unfortunate result.
Furthermore, each of these excessive startups demands more power. For the owner of a short-cycling air conditioning system, energy bills can reach unprecedented heights.
2. Make certain that the unit you buy is energy-efficient.
Compared to appliances in general, no air conditioner currently sold will ever win a prize for greenest apparatus. Nevertheless, some are better than others at conserving energy. A lot involves the model type, with split systems coming out ahead. However, despite the long-term savings, some people are hesitant to spend the additional money, choosing instead to go with a less-efficient model.
This may not be the smartest thing to do. For one thing, the energy-efficient unit will cool the home faster and require less power to do it. It will also emit a smaller amount of carbon dioxide, thereby having a lower impact on global warming. Environmental concerns aside, those who choose in favor of energy efficiency will benefit immediately from lower utility bills. These savings are always welcome.
3. Get it installed correctly.
When purchasing a new air conditioning unit, it is impossible to overlook the importance of proper installation. Any miscalculations or errors in this area can knock the socks off your unit’s performance and operating efficiency. The optimal air conditioning installation will allow for easy maintenance, and a proper installation will permit easy access to the vital components.
An experienced installer will:
- Have the experience needed to decide on the optimal unit size for your specific situation. Beware the contractor who attempts to size the unit in accordance with nothing more than floor area. A proper determination will take into consideration the measurements of walls and ceilings, the number of windows and the amount of insulation throughout the premises. A reputable contractor will never try to sell you more air conditioner than you need.
- Know the optimal location in which to place the outside unit and be certain to give it the proper clearance.
- Make certain that all your unit’s parts are easily accessible. For example, the inside coil will require cleaning at least once every two years, and if yours is hard to reach, a competent installer will take the time to install an access panel. An easily removable air filter is another must, for one that refuses to budge will never receive the frequent cleanings it requires.
- Conduct a thorough inspection of your ductwork to ensure its integrity. If he should find any leaks, disconnections or crushed sections that might impede the flow of air, he will take the necessary steps to fix the problem.
Above all, do not base your choice of contractor on the size of his quoted estimate. The lowest bidder will not always be the one who does the best job.
An air conditioner purchase is a major one and should never be taken lightly. Give yours the attention it deserves. Call Windy City Air for the peace of mind that can only come from knowing that your unit’s installation gets done right.