Getting a good air conditioning unit can be quite confusing. You have to choose from a lot of options and consider many variables. Beware of contractors who will offer to market more capacity than what you actually need. While more capacity can be a great idea, a very big AC unit will cool your home quite quickly. This case is termed as short cycling which can result in premature wear and tear, insufficient dehumidification and a decreased product life. The following are some helpful tips in getting a new air conditioner.
Hire the Right Contractor
Avoid hiring an HVAC contractor who wishes to size the unit according to just the house’s floor area. A good contractor will calculate the amount of cooling your home needs based on industry standards. In order to get enough information, the contractor must spend some time poking around the house to take measurements in every room and ask questions. The ceilings, walls and floors must be measured including windows. The contractor must check attic, wall and crawlspace insulation. Other factors to be considered in the cooling aspect include outdoor and indoor temperatures, roof color, number of occupants and shading.
Don’t Just Go for the Lowest Bid
To get real quality, you need to invest money in paying for the contractor’s time to do the job perfectly. To ensure quality of work, always look for a reputed climatisation professional.
Check for Disconnected Ducts and Duct Leaks
Also, ensure that ducts do not restrict the flow of air. This can take place when the ducts are quite small for your unit or crushed. Ideally, your chosen contractor utilizes diagnostic equipment in finding leaks and fixing them with good duct sealant instead of duct tape. Of course, there is no point getting a bigger air conditioner in cooling the crawlspace or attic.
Purchase a High-Efficiency System
The federal law requires new air conditioners to have a 13 or higher SEER. Although this will cost more, it is often worth it to purchase a system that exceeds such value as it will be paid back with real energy savings over time. Find an ENERGY STAR label as you shop. If you are in the market to replace your present air conditioner, you need to replace the entire unit including the blower fan and inside air so the rated efficiency will be achieved.
Install the Unit for Ease of Maintenance
It is important to ensure that the inside coil is reachable for cleaning. An access panel may be installed by the contractor depending on the unit’s model. You need to have the coil cleaned every couple of years. The air filter must be placed in a spot where it can be removed easily. During the summer, it must be checked every month and cleaned when dirty.
Ensure the Unit is Out of Direct Sunlight
The outside unit must be put on the east or north of your house ensuring that the sun will not hit it directly. However, make sure no shade is added for it. Leave enough room to allow free air to flow on each side and leave clearance of at least four feet at the top. The area must be kept free of shrubs and debris.