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What to Ask When Purchasing a New Air Conditioner

HVAC Maintenance

The weather in the Trussville, Alabama, area is warm and humid through much of the late spring, summer, and even early fall. Without a working air conditioning system, the temperature levels in your home will start to rise quickly, leading to an uncomfortable atmosphere. When your unit is beyond repair or isn’t keeping your home comfortable any longer, replacement might be the best option. If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, make sure to ask these questions of your HVAC contractor to get the best option.

How Do You Size the Unit?

The size of your cooling system will make a big difference in your monthly bills, as well as the overall comfort throughout your home. Some HVAC contractors will only look at the square footage of the house when determining a unit size, but other factors should be taken into account as well. The load calculation is an important aspect to consider, which should match up with the capacity of the new unit. Calculating the load involves assessing the plans and specifications of the house to determine how air can flow, which helps you choose a new system accordingly.

When your air conditioning unit is too small for the space, it will have to turn off and on more frequently and run for extended periods of time to reach the set temperature. In some cases, a small AC won’t ever provide adequate cooling. As a result, any money you saved by opting for a cheaper unit will be quickly spent on high monthly bills. On the other side of the coin, an oversized unit wastes a lot of energy. This will also cost more in cooling costs every month, so choosing the right size is beneficial for energy and money savings.

What Type of System Works Best in My Home?

Your HVAC technician might only install a single type of air conditioning system, which means you’re stuck with whatever is offered. However, the HVAC industry is ever-changing, and companies need to keep up with the latest innovations and shifts. The layout, size, and shape of your home should also come into play when considering the right type of cooling system.

For example, if your house has very little ductwork, or the ducts need a lot of repair, you might want to consider a ductless system. If you have hot spots that are hard to cool down, a zoned air conditioning system can be a real game-changer for home comfort, while also reducing energy waste. These options should be on the table when you’re discussing the new cooling addition to your house.

What are SEER Ratings?

When you start looking at air conditioning systems, you’ll notice that every unit comes with a SEER rating. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio rating refers to how efficiently the system will operate. Every air conditioner must have a SEER rating of at least 13, but a unit can go as high as 23. The higher the number, the more efficient the system, but you will pay more for a highly rated system. Typically, lower monthly bills will help offset some of the cost of the new AC unit, but be aware that a high SEER rating will come at a higher cost.

Should Anything Else Be Replaced?

Although the air conditioning unit is one of the most important aspects of your system, a number of other components should be considered as part of the replacement service. It doesn’t make sense to install a brand-new central air conditioner, only to leave behind leaky, damaged ducts. The air will still leak through the gaps, which means you’re wasting energy and spending more on cooling bills.

Other components include the air handler and the thermostat, which should be inspected as part of the service. If anything does need to be replaced along with the unit, now is the time to get it all done at once so everything can work smoothly together to deliver more efficient cooling.

At Total Comfort Heating & Air, we offer efficient installation of cooling systems, so feel free to contact us at (205) 386-2056 with any questions you might have about the process.

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