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Features to Look For When Buying a New AC Unit

Published on: July 25, 2012

If your home needs a new air conditioning system, there are a few features that need to be considered prior to your purchase. Diligently researching the different sizes and types of air conditioners will ensure that your ac installation is right for your home. Your research will help you understand the difference in prices and sizes for the array of available systems.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
The SEER rating on your air conditioning unit is the primary way to determine how much you will pay for energy costs with a particular ac installation. You can calculate the SEER rating of a particular air conditioner by comparing a few facts.

To figure how much a SEER rating will cost you over the years you will need to compare the following numbers.

Your local areas electrical rate

The total cost for both the air conditioning system and the ac installation.

If the unit is equipped with a programmable thermostat.

The cooling ability of each unit.

Single or Multiple Stage:
The vast majority of air conditioning units are only available in single stage. Single stage simply means that when the air conditioner is on that it runs at full capacity until it reaches the desired temperature. The air conditioning system will shut off until the air temperature needs to be cooled again. A multiple stage unit works in a number of settings that depend on how much cooling is required. A multiple stage ac installation is more costly up front but saves on energy costs due to a more efficient cooling process. Choosing between a single or multiple stage unit will depend on how hard your air conditioning system needs to work and how big your ac installation budget is.

Programmable Thermostat:
A programmable thermostat is a fantastic feature. You are able to control how often and what time of the day that your system will be active. If you are gone for long periods of time, you can set your thermostat to turn on shortly before arriving home. This saves money by not cooling your home when nobody is there.

Does Size Matter:
The size of a unit is referring to the BTU’s produced by the air conditioner. A bigger system will increase the cost of using it. If the unit is too large, you will be paying more than you need to on your energy bills. If your air conditioner is too small, your home will not be efficiently cooled and will have to work harder to achieve the right temperature. Your ac installation service technician will help you to determine the proper size for your home.

Quality and Warranties:
Quality is often difficult to determine on various air conditioners. Brand name systems with the same SEER rating and size tend to be very similar in quality. The best way to determine the right unit for your home ac installation is to make sure it has a warranty. If a system has a short limited warranty, there is a reason for that. Look for a system that offers a lifetime warranty on the compressor and at least a 10 year warranty on all of the other parts.