We’ve previously written something about choosing the right heating system. Now we shift to choosing the right cooling system, especially important for those living in areas where the summer heat is just ridiculous. In this article though, we focus more on central air conditioners which distributes conditioned air throughout the house and not just a single room. Why the big deal, you say?
Selecting an air conditioner for your home is definitely a big decision that you should think about carefully. It’s an important investment today because whichever AC unit you choose, it will contribute to your home energy expenses for the next few years. Also, when the summer heat is at its worst, you’ll want your family to have the best, most reliable cooling comfort possible, don’t you? On these hot, humid summer days, only a central air conditioning will add quality of life in your home. Air conditioning is also an expensive home improvement project, so it pays to do your homework and choose wisely
When choosing an air conditioner, the number one deciding factor should be its efficiency. Efficiency in this context refers to an air conditioning unit’s ability to convert electric energy into cooling in the most cost-effective way. You would want maximum cooling for minimum electric bill costs.
One way to determine an AC unit’s efficiency is by the SEER rating. The U.S. Department of Energy follows minimum efficiency standards for air conditioners and every unit is given an efficiency rating, called Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). This is listed on the yellow Energy Guide label posted on each unit. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit and the less it will cost to provide cooling.
Air conditioning warranties are also important factors in choosing a cooling system. This is the key to ensure that the unit will last for many years. Before purchasing a central air conditioning unit, ask for its warranty and read it carefully. Be sure to understand the terms and restrictions too. Remember that air conditioning warranties can vary significantly from one manufacturer to another.
Finally, some extra features wouldn’t hurt right? Look for AC units with energy saving features such as a variable-speed blower to reduce electricity consumption, a filter indicator light that tells you when the filter needs changing, and an automatic delay fan switch, which keeps the fan on to utilize residual cool air that remains after the compressor turns off.