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Need to replace your AC? Here are 6 things you should know

hackrea - June 3, 2020 - 0 comments - views 26 - 0 likes

So much has changed in how ACs are manufactured that even if yours is 10 years old or less, it might be worth buying a new one rather than repairing the old one; especially if there’s been a substantial breakdown of the AC’s system.

Purchasing a brand-new AC will make your home cooler and more comfortable, as long as you know the essential things to keep in mind as you pick the right AC for your home. Have a look at 6 pointers we’ve compiled for you.

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER)

SEER is the amount of energy an AC uses to cool an area during a typical cooling season. This amount is further divided by the energy output in Watts hours used.  An efficiency rating of an AC is determined by the SEER output. 

Until 2006, it was standard to have a unit consisting of 10 or even lower SEER. This has changed and federal law requires the minimum SEER output to be 13. This number can differ from state to state, on the basis that certain states are hotter than others. The maximum SEER value is between 21 to 25. Keep in mind that a lower SEER number doesn’t mean lower efficiency. It describes the capacity of the AC.

The importance of SEER is that it can reduce the energy consumed to cool an area. If you purchase an AC with 13 SEER value, that can mean 30% less energy consumption than the old unit you have. This will translate into lower utility bills for you. 

Cooling load

The cooling load is a calculation made to make sure the unit’s size is appropriate to the room or home size. An AC that is too large will automatically turn on and off more frequently, reducing its efficiency as well as its ability to dehumidify. One that is too small won’t cool a room well enough. 

There are several factors that go into the calculation. These include the size of the room, window size, insulation levels, as well as the layout and orientation of the home; facing west or east, etc. 

Installation

Installation is considered a major service. As with any major service, you should contact a professional company. Ideally, for your AC to function optimally, an experienced company will do the cooling load calculations for you, guarantee that the installation is carried out accurately, and answer all your questions concerning your new unit. You should be very aware that the dangers of installing an AC on your own are very real and serious.

To make sure that the unit lasts a long time, a reputable company will also offer you a maintenance package checkup. It is when you don’t regularly maintain your AC that it will start giving you problems much earlier than expected.

Usage capacity

To make the best choice, you have to estimate how much you expect to use this new purchase. If you tend to run the AC for only a few hours a day, you can do with a minimal SEER rating. If you live in a hot climate and run the AC for 8 hours or more a day, you would need a more expensive, but less energy consuming, AC.

Sound rating

A cool, but noisy home isn’t anyone’s idea of comfort. You don’t want to get stuck with an AC that runs too loudly. ACs also have sound ratings measured in bels. A bel unit is equal to 10 decibels. 

You need to check the decibel’s (dB) rating of an AC; the lower the dB, the quieter it will run. Other things to check to know the sound level could be the variable speed fan, compressor insulation, or noise-reducing fan blades. It differs if you are planning to install a window unit or a split-unit; the split-unit quieter than a window unit. Quiet AC models usually range between 37 and 46 decibels, which would be lower than the sound coming out of a table fan.

Cost

There’s a broad range of prices in ACs, so it’s not much different than buying a car. The cost depends on the model, the make, the size, and more. Buying directly from a HVAC retailer can save you some good money since they will include a markup cost or total cost. It’s also safe to say that buying during the spring or fall season can be cheaper than buying a unit during summer. Contrary to what most people think, winter isn’t the off-season for AC sellers. 

An air conditioner is a major purchase, so don’t rush into it. Take all these factors into consideration and your purchase will be exactly what you need. For many, having a specialized company to help is the smartest way to go about buying a new AC.

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