Investing in a new air conditioner can not only keep you more comfortable in the hot, humid Orlando summers, but it can also save you quite a bit on your cooling bills. Before you choose your new A/C, though, make sure you’re not making any of the common buying mistakes.
Not getting clear on SEER
The higher an air conditioner’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), the less energy it needs to cool your home, meaning lower cooling bills for you.
To meet Energy Star requirements, an air conditioner needs a SEER of 15 or above, but models are available with SEERs of 24 and higher. The highest SEER isn’t always better, though especially if you don’t use your A/C often. A technician can help you choose the right efficiency for you.
Focusing on price
Cheaper air conditioners are less likely to have the features that allow higher-priced models to perform more effectively and efficiently. They might lack the variable speed motor, variable speed compressor, and thermal expansion (TMX) valve found in higher-efficiency models. Cheaper A/Cs might also contain cheaper materials and components that will wear out faster, such as aluminum coils rather than copper ones.
An air conditioner that’s too large wastes energy, causes temperatures swings, and can’t control humidity effectively. One that’s too small won’t be able to keep you cool on the hottest days of the year. To accurately size your new air conditioner, your technician should follow process in the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual J. Your new system shouldn’t be sized based on your old one or on your home’s square footage alone.
Not checking for rebates
Equipment manufacturers, utility providers, and HVAC contractors sometimes offer money-back rebates on the cost of a new air conditioner. Spend some time looking around for these rebates because they can help you afford a higher-quality system than you otherwise could.
Getting only one estimate
Air conditioner prices vary from one HVAC retailer to the next, so check with at least three companies before you make your decision.
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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