If you’re like most homeowners, you rely on your home’s air conditioning system to stay comfortable during the warmer months. Unfortunately, the average AC unit only lasts for about 15 years.
Once it gets old, the system stops working properly and you’ll need to replace it with a new model if you want your home to be comfortable.
Choosing AC units for your home isn’t always as simple as you might think. You need to choose a system that you can rely on for years to come. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind when you start your search.
1Think About Your Current HVAC System
Before you start looking into different AC units, take a moment to look at your current residential AC system. If you already have one, many people find it cheaper and easier to replace the old system with a newer model.
However, if there are things about the system that you don’t like or aren’t comfortable with, you’ll want to avoid choosing AC units that have those same issues.
If you don’t have a system in place, you’ll want to look into the amount of work required to install each system you’re interested in. For example, installing a central AC system requires some remodeling to accommodate the ductwork. On the other hand, choosing a ductless system will let you keep your house in the same condition and layout it’s already in.
2Consider Your Budget
Think about how much money you’re willing to spend on your new air conditioner and how you plan to pay for it. The best way to cover the cost is with your savings. However, if you don’t have tons of cash on hand, you may need to finance the purchase.
A home improvement loan or even a payment plan with your installation expert will make getting a higher quality system easier. Just make sure that you’re comfortable making the minimum monthly payments.
If you’re worried about your ability to pay the air conditioner’s cost off in full, you’ll either want to choose a cheaper model or wait to upgrade until you have the money on hand.
3Pay Attention to Energy Efficiency
Different air conditioning systems use different amounts of electricity to cool your home. Before you can pick the best AC unit, you need to decide how much you’re willing to spend each month on your energy bill.
More efficient systems use far less electricity, but they can cost more upfront.
Get the energy efficiency ratings for each system you’re considering. Compare their estimated annual operating costs and choose the system that works for your monthly budget.
Keep in mind that more energy-efficient systems will add more value to your home. If you’re planning on selling it in a few years, investing in those systems is in your best interest.
4Look at the Size Ratings
Air conditioning systems come in a variety of sizes indicated by a BTU rating. Larger units have higher BTU ratings and smaller units have lower BTU ratings.
Higher BTU systems are best for larger buildings and smaller ones work best for smaller structures. You need to choose the right size for your home before you settle on a model.
Remember, choosing a larger AC unit than is recommended for your house won’t make your home cool down faster. Instead, it will cause problems with your indoor air quality, humidity levels, and your electric bill.
If you’re not sure what size system you need, ask your HVAC repair technician. They’ll be able to recommend the proper size based on the square footage of your house.
5Understand the Maintenance Requirements
No matter what type of air conditioner you choose, you’ll need to make sure you maintain it properly every year. If you don’t, you risk unexpected breakdowns.
Look into the types of maintenance each unit and system needs to work properly. This means finding out what type of air filter the system uses, which components need regular cleaning, and which components need to get replaced most often.
Understanding these maintenance requirements will help you determine which system is right for your needs. If you’re not comfortable with the types of maintenance a system requires, it’s not the right fit for your home.
6Pay Attention to the Warranty
Every new air conditioning system comes with a warranty from the manufacturer. The terms of that warranty will vary from company to company.
As a general rule, you’ll want to choose a system that has a truly comprehensive warranty that lasts for several years. This way, the manufacturer will cover the cost of any repairs resulting from a manufacturer’s defect in the AC unit.
The more comprehensive the warranty is, the more money you’ll save out of pocket.
7Look Into the Quality of the System
When it comes to buying an AC unit, you get what you pay for. Higher quality systems cost more than ones that will only last for a few years at best.
Take your time and read reviews for each unit you’re considering. If the bulk of the reviews are positive, you’ll likely be happy with the purchase. However, if many other homeowners experienced problems with the system, you likely will too.
If you’re not sure which model is worth the investment, consult your HVAC contractor. They’ll be able to let you know which units offer the quality that you’re looking for and which ones you should avoid.
Choosing AC Units Takes Time
The right air conditioning system can make all the difference in your home and your happiness. It helps with improving air quality, keeps you comfortable, and makes your house feel like home.
Take your time and be patient when choosing AC units. Explore your options thoroughly and keep these factors in mind when you start searching for the right system. This way, you’ll be sure to get a residential AC unit that works for your needs.
Once you find your ideal AC system, you’ll need to keep it in good shape if you want it to last for decades. Check out our latest posts for more tips to help you stay on top of your system’s maintenance.