What to Look for When Buying An Air Conditioner
Buying an air conditioning system for your home can be a daunting experience. You might ask yourself questions like: how do I know if I’m paying too much for an air conditioner? Do I need the add-on products for an air conditioner? What’s a SEER rating? Although you may feel apprehension when exploring these options, it can be easily broken down into digestible steps. In this guide you will learn to assess your air quality needs, find a contractor you can trust, and understand all that technical jargon.
If you’re thinking about replacing your air conditioning system, (HVAC) you may have noticed that most professionals do not refer to their sales staff as HVAC Technicians. Instead terms like comfort specialist, or air comfort advisor are used. The reason for this is because most air conditioning companies offer whole home comfort. A quality comfort advisor can reduce or increase the humidity levels in the home, purify the air, and create cooling zones. Each air conditioning specialist has their own set of personal circumstances that go into your air quality needs, and these should be considered during the buying process. Do you have pets, do you or a family member suffer from allergies, does your condenser, (the big box outside) sit right next to your bedroom window, do you only utilize 20% of your home and have no need to heat or cool the other 80%? Maybe you have expensive paintings on your wall or a Ferrari in your garage. These customizable items should be discussed with your comfort advisor, to find a system that truly meets your home’s needs.
Now that you know what your air conditioner and furnace can do, it’s time to find a technician to do the job. In the state of California only a contractor with a C-20 HVAC license can do this job. Do not trust your HVAC install to a handyman. I suggest finding a local HVAC Contractor that has high reviews or is recommended by a friend or family member. This contractor should not cut corners, give you a price without a consultation, or high pressure you into something you don’t want or understand. You may also want to find a contractor that is backed by a strong manufacturer. Does the brand equipment stand behind their product and their contractors, if the contractor goes out of business will you still have the backing of a respected manufacturer? What is the warranty? All very important questions when finding a contractor that you can trust.
Finally, here’s the brief 4-1-1 on HVAC jargon:
- SEER- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
- EER- Energy Efficiency Ratio (when comparing efficiency, use EER not SEER)
- Constant Torque Motor Like a variable speed furnace, constant torque furnaces provide lower operating costs and increases to overall system efficiency. Compared to standard PSC motors, constant torque delivers more consistent airflow and quieter operation.
- The term “variable speed” refers to the furnace’s indoor blower motor, which moves at different speeds to precisely control the flow of heated and cooled air throughout your home. Better airflow control has several benefits: Variable speed motors can actually save you money on your energy bills, as they consume less electricity than standard motors.
- The inverter air conditioning is the latest technology in the HVAC field that is becoming more popular due to its environmentally friendly and energy savings approach. Inverter compressors respond to the weather by running faster when it’s hot and slower when the temperatures are mild Providing comfort to the users is another big advantage of this kind of system.