How to Choose a New Central Air Conditioner

Looking to buy a new AC unit? If your current air conditioner is almost a decade old, it’s time for a new one. During this time, the amount you’ll save in energy bills will be likely more than the cost of a new unit.

When you buy a new air conditioning unit, there are critical things to remember. First, don’t buy an oversized unit. Second, buy an efficient model. And lastly, make sure that the unit you buy is installed properly.

Right Size. Studies show that many home air conditioners don’t work well because they are oversized. Contractors generally size air conditioners about a half ton larger than what is really necessary. One ton of cooling is equivalent to about 12,000 Btu of air conditioner capacity.

An oversized AC system turns on and off more often than it should, even during the hottest days. As a result, you pay more for it as well as uses more energy, which ultimately raises your utility bills. It won’t dehumidify the air efficiently as well as a smaller system would. Having an oversized air conditioner doesn’t mean cool comfort. It will simply mean higher first costs, higher electricity bills, and an uncomfortable temperature to be in.

So ensure your chosen contractor sizes your air conditioner properly. You can ask your contractor to use the sizing manuals put out by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). The contractor will measure your house, notes the window area and the direction the house faces, as well as gauge the insulation levels. These data are needed to calculate the amount of cooling your house really needs.

Another important thing to consider is the capacity of the AC unit to remove moisture from the air. Different models have different performances when it comes to handling moisture. Your contractor should know how to pick an air conditioner that is perfect for your house and for the climate you’re in.

Here are the other basic criteria to use when choosing a new air conditioning system:

  • BTUs: This is the cooling capacity of an air conditioner. It is measured in British thermal units per hour (Btu/hr). To find the best BTUs for your room, multiply the square footage of the space by 10 and then add 4,000.
  • Energy Star rating: This rating indicate that an appliance is at least 10 percent more energy-efficient than the minimum federal standards.
  • EER: Energy-Efficiency Ratio is simply the ratio of the cooling output divided by the unit’s power consumption. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit is.

Looking to install a new air conditioning system in Philadelphia? Get in touch with us today!