Features to Look For When Buying a New AC Unit

Published on: August 16, 2012

Once you’ve decided to upgrade your AC unit, you should thoroughly research HVAC systems to make sure you are buying the right device to cool and heat your home. Several areas to focus on include each device’s SEER grade, Energy Star ratings and unit size along with your new unit’s maintenance needs and climate.

How An HVAC System Works

When you choose a heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, unit to provide comfortable temperatures for your home, you’ll have a split system. The split unit includes an inside element called an evaporator coil along with the heat pump, which is outside. The two systems will work together to heat and cool your home. When we complete your air conditioner installation, you’ll have a properly connected system.

Your HVAC unit’s heat pump will send the heat it pulls from your outside air to the evaporator coil during the winter while your evaporator coil will send heat from your inside air to the heat pump in the summer. The unit includes fans that will circulate your cold or warm air through the rooms of your home.

SEER Grades

As you shop for a new HVAC system, you’ll notice a yellow and black tag attached to each unit. The label will list the unit’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, rating. The numbers listed should begin at 13 and extend to 23. When choosing your unit, you must consider your budget in relation to the level of efficiency you require.

An HVAC unit with a high SEER rating will cost you more initially. However, you will regain the expense through the reduction of your home’s utility bills. If you decide to purchase an energy efficient unit, then you’ll need to buy a device with a SEER grade of at least 14. Once you contact our service team for air conditioner installation, we can review your home and recommend the best SEER rated device.

Energy Star Label

When you select an HVAC system that includes the Energy Star label, it will be a top rated device. In order to receive the label, the unit must perform efficiently in a variety of areas including its SEER rating and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. With an Energy Star rating, the device will have a HSPF grade of 8.2 or higher.

The label will also include a minimum Energy Efficiency Ratio or EER. For the Energy Star tag, a split system HVAC unit must have a listing of at least 11.5. With a single-package system, the EER rating will be at least 11.0. When you buy an Energy Star rated system, the device will offer you twice the efficiency as units without the rating.

Buying the Right Unit Size

Before we arrive to complete your air conditioner installation, we will complete a Manual J assessment of your home. With the Manual J review process, we’ll evaluate the overall size of your home. The number of windows, bathrooms and residents will also factor into our assessment.

After your Manual J appraisal, we can make sure you purchase an HVAC system that is the correct size. You should avoid purchasing an oversized unit as it will leave moisture in your home’s air, which can cause breathing problems and mold, along with increasing your utility bills. You’ll reduce your home’s energy use and expenses with a unit that is the right size.


Once we complete your air conditioner installation, you may consider purchasing a maintenance package. With a package, our service team will change your air filter, lubricate the moving parts of your system and make sure your HVAC system is working properly.

It is safe for you to complete routine maintenance such as making sure your air filter is clean. You can expect to change your filter once or twice a year. Also, you can keep your unit free of debris and select a time to listen to your device as this step will help you catch early problems. When your unit makes loud banging or whining noises, you should contact us to diagnose the issue.


You’ll need to consider your home’s climate when you buy a new HVAC unit. If you live in an area that experiences cold winters and hot summers, then you should purchase a split unit as this device will heat and cool your home when you need it. Your home may benefit from a packaged air conditioner, which includes the evaporator coil and the condensing unit in one system. We will install the unit on the exterior of your home, and you can review the device’s energy efficiency ratings.

When you buy an HVAC system that is the right size, you’ll appreciate the reduction of your home’s heating and cooling costs. After you contact our company to complete your air conditioner installation, you’ll have comfortable indoor temperatures with little negative effect to the environment.