What to know before you buy an air conditioner.
Cooling capacity should be your first consideration. This is where an expert comes into play. Ask a contractor to perform a detailed load calculation. This calculation determines the capacity of the equipment needed and the correct distribution of air to each room.
If the HVAC system is too small, it will not be able to meet needs. A system that is too large will reduce efficiency benefits, increase costs, and provide poorer temperature and humidity control.
The average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, and heating and cooling costs account for nearly half. Newer cooling equipment that is on the market today is up to 25 percent more efficient than it was 10 years ago. When you replace a unit that has become inefficient, you can reduce your energy consumption anywhere from 25 to 40 percent.
HVAC systems are rated in Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratios, or SEERs. A lower SEER number results in costly power bills over the life of the system since lower rated systems require more power to deliver the same amount of cooling. The cost-to-operate difference between an 8 SEER unit (common in homes more than 10 years old) as compared to the same 16 SEER unit is half as much over the summer season because it takes half as many watts to run the 16 SEER. Multiplied over the typical summer season run time of 1,400 to 2,000 hours, that difference in operating cost can really add up to some serious savings. If your HVAC unit is more than 10 years old and your power bill is breaking the bank, replacing it with a new 16 SEER unit is the most cost effective thing you can do to reduce your bill.
When purchasing a singular room air conditioner, determine efficiency by looking at its EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio. An EER measurement tells you how many BTUs the unit uses for each watt of power. Use this as a rule of thumb: the higher the EER, the more efficient the air conditioner. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should shop for a room air conditioner that has an EER of at least 10.0 to realize the best energy- and cost-savings.
Choosing a Dealer
The contractor is responsible for reliably determining the type and size of the system and explaining your options as well as installing the system. A good contractor also should provide a warranty and after-sale service. Find a dealer within your area, look at reviews, and check their credentials. Signs of a good contractor include providing estimates, Air Conditioning Contractors of America certified, and state-licensed.
Andy, from Peak Heating & Cooling, recommends getting at least three different estimates before making a purchasing decision.
Take time to determine which air conditioner is right for your home. Find one that will let you live comfortably!
If you’re interested in learning more about any of these products or technologies, contact your local Minnesota Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer. You can find the one closest to you at StayComfyMinnesota.com.
For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.