Air Conditioner Shopping? Use These Tips
Choosing a new air conditioner could be one of the most challenging projects you face as a homeowner, since there’s little easy about selecting the right system. Not only does your summertime comfort depend on making a good choice, but so do your energy bills for a long time to come.
- Choose the contractor carefully — Most people need to rely on the expertise of an HVAC contractor to learn about the most appropriate system. When choosing a contractor, look for one who has NATE- (North American Technician Excellence) certification. Not only will you be working with the most competent in the field, you’ll also experience top-quality customer service.
- Insist on a load calculation — This step in choosing a new cooling system is critical to lower energy bills and enhanced indoor comfort. Be sure the contractor you select performs a load calculation using Manual J software before you choose the exact size and efficiency you need.
- Efficiency matters — In areas like ours with long, hot summers, the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of the new air conditioner you choose makes a difference in your cooling costs. It may cost more to opt for a SEER rating over 14, but in the long run, the extra cost can pay for itself in lower energy bills. Features that increase the SEER for our region include variable-speed compressors and air handlers that drop energy usage and increase indoor comfort. When interviewing the contractor, ask about local credits and incentives that may be available when installing products that meet the Energy Star guidelines that will help offset the cost of the system even more.
- Ask about maintenance contracts — Chances are, the new system will require professional maintenance to keep the warranty active. Most of the time, you’ll get reduced rates and preferential treatment when you sign up for a maintenance contract from the contractor you choose.
Your new air conditioner is a serious financial investment and one that requires help from a trusted professional. To learn more, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, providing NATE-certified HVAC services for Orlando area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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