What are the Guidelines for Buying an Air Conditioner?


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If you live anywhere south of 56 degrees North, your air conditioner is a vital component of your home. To effectively cool and dehumidify your house, it must be in excellent shape. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever — and AC units are particularly vulnerable to wear and tear, especially if you live in a hot, humid climate!

Eventually, it will be time to replace your unit. Air conditioners have become increasingly energy-efficient over the past few years. For that reason alone, you may wish to buy a new AC even if your old one has some years left. But how do you go about choosing the best air conditioner for your Canton home?

As a major purchase — and an investment indoor home’s comfort and efficiency — it’s important to do your homework. Here’s everything you need to know about buying the right air conditioner for your home.

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Which Type of Air Conditioner is Best?

Air conditioners come in several configurations. You may wish to continue with your current type of AC, but if you’re hoping to save energy and cool your home more efficiently, it may be time to switch.

Window units

Window AC units have lower energy consumption as they cool individual rooms. They’re quite affordable and easy to install and use. If you only have one or two rooms that need on-demand cooling, this is a good choice.

The downside of window units is that they tend to be quite noisy. And if you have multiple rooms to cool, it can be expensive and inconvenient to equip each one with a window unit.

Portable AC units

Portable units can be moved from room to room, which makes them ideal for small homes where you spend a lot of time in a given space. Simply move the unit throughout the day and night depending on your needs.

While portable units are easily moved where needed, like space heaters, they do pull more electricity. They also have a short range, so they may not work as effectively for large areas such as your living room. You’ll also sacrifice some square footage to accommodate that, which could make small spaces feel even more cramped.

Central AC

A central AC unit cools air at a single location, then uses ductwork to distribute the air throughout the home. While effective, this type of AC can consume a lot of energy and be difficult to keep clean. The ducts are susceptible to debris and mold build-up, and the entire system must be cleaned regularly.

Also, depending on the layout of your Canton home, some rooms may get significantly cooler than others. Central AC cannot distinguish between rooms; it turns the system off or on depending on the ambient temperature closest to the thermostat. This means that you must optimize your entire house’s efficiency to avoid your AC running when unnecessary.

Ductless Split Units

Ductless split units, aka wall-mounted units, can cool large without relying on ductwork. They have powerful blowers that distribute air more effectively, and you don’t need a window to use them. This is an ideal option if you want to replace your window or portable units but can’t install central AC.

Ductless units also use less electricity and are quieter than a window unit. However, they do require you to cut holes in your wall, and if you need multiple separate rooms cooled, it can get expensive quickly.

Not sure which is the right AC replacement option for your canton home? Reach out to local HVAC contractors who can help you assess your cooling needs with your house’s structure.

What Size AC Do you need?

It’s crucial to choose an appropriately sized unit. An air conditioner that’s too small will run constantly as it attempts to heat your space, One that’s too large will waste electricity. As a general guide, aim for 20-25 BTU for each square foot of living space. Some air conditioners may be labeled in tons of cooling capacity. Usually, one ton can handle every 400-500 square feet.

However, you may need even more power if your home is especially sunny, located in a hot climate, has high ceilings, and/or is occupied by more people. The more heat, the harder the unit has to work. If any of those situations apply to you, add a couple of hundred extra square feet to each room in your calculations.

Your air conditioner also helps remove moisture from your home, decreasing the risk of mold and mildew. If you live in a humid climate, look for air conditioners that can remove as many as 10 pints of moisture per hour.

Whichever model you choose, keep amperage in mind. Most homes allocate 15 amps per circuit/room, but large air conditioners often pull 12-15 amps. To avoid tripping the breaker, make sure the AC is installed on a dedicated circuit.

What’s your Budget?

As you might expect, the larger and more efficient the unit, the higher the cost. However, those units may help pay for themselves in the long run. Any new air conditioner should have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of at least 13. The SEER rating can go up to 25 for maximum efficiency. These units are the most expensive, although your monthly energy bill will be less than with lower-SEER units.

Also, consider which type of air conditioner you want and how much it costs to install. If you’re switching to central AC, expect high costs to install all the ductwork. Ductless split units can be pricy, too, as contractors will need to cut a hole in the wall. You may also need to pay an electrician to create a dedicated circuit.

If you’re interested in modern air conditioners’ convenient features, prepare to factor those into the cost. However, these features can help save you money. Popular models include many energy-saving perks:

  • Filter status lights to remind you to change the filter for optimal performance
  • Remote control to easily tweak the thermostat setting
  • Sleep mode to optimize the thermostat for nighttime
  • Thermostat timers/programmable thermostats to auto-set the temperature at specific hours
  • Energy-saving mode that turns off the compressor when not needed
  • Dry mode to remove more humidity
  • Freeze protection mode to direct heat toward pipes during cold snaps
  • Inverter technology that changes the compressor speed to fine-tune the air temperature
  • Smart controls that use an app and/or geofencing to automatically adjust the thermostat setting
  • Consider which of these features best suit your needs. If you can afford the upfront cost, you’ll likely enjoy
  • lower energy bills down the line. Plus, many of these features enhance the comfort of your Canton home.

When’s a Good Time to Buy an Air Conditioner?

It’s basic economics: high demand for a product in limited supply leads to higher prices. Therefore, you definitely don’t want to start shopping for an air conditioner during the peak season (that is, summer). Not only will the units be more expensive, but also your local air conditioning installation service in Canton will be heavily booked. Plan ahead and get your AC replacement or upgrade done in the cooler months.

Wrapping Up

Purchasing an air conditioner is not something to be taken lightly. Do plenty of research to fully understand your home’s unique needs before contacting a Canton air conditioning installation company. Weigh your upfront costs against your expected savings. And remember, there is no substitute for a well-designed system that optimizes your home’s energy efficiency!

Air conditioning is a vital element in your home’s comfort and safety. Ensure it’s done correctly: reach out to Sinclaire Home Services to assess your AC needs and get expert air conditioning installation for your Canton property.