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Shopping for a New AC? Read This First!

airconditioning-300x220As temperatures rise here in Atlanta, and your air conditioner starts working full time, the deficiencies of your current unit may make themselves known – that’s why it’s also the time of year when many people choose to replace old, malfunctioning air conditioning units with new ones.

The shopping process can take a while for regular purchases, but for a purchase as important as an air conditioning unit is, the process can become very extended. That’s where R.S. Andrews steps in to help. As you now know, we’re experts in air conditioning, so we’ve put together a few things you should be looking for when buying a new air conditioning unit.

Size It Up: The size of your air conditioning unit is generally determined by the square footage of your home, but other factors can also contribute to the size of unit you need. The correct size can be determined for you by one of our technicians. Having the correct size determined by a professional is vital because if the unit is too small, your home will take much longer to cool and you’ll eventually burn out the unit due to overuse. Having a unit that’s too large can cool down a home too quickly without dehumidification, which results in a clammy feeling.

Crunch the Numbers: There are a number of different ratings and numbers that can be used to describe an air conditioning unit. The important ones are SEER, the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which will ideally be at 16 or higher. EER is your energy efficiency ratio, the minimum ratio to qualify for Energy Star is 9.7 for small or medium sized units and 9.8 for large units. The last number you need to check for is the BTU, British Thermal Units, which is used to give a number to an AC’s cooling qualities. The bigger the area you need to cool, the more BTU’s your unit will need to have.

Sound Check: Depending on where you plan on installing your air conditioning unit,  the sound it generates can become a big concern. While current models are creating less and less noise, they still make some. This can be a particular concern if you’re considering installing the unit near a bedroom or the living room. Check to see the decibels the unit you’re interested in emits if the figure is available.

Take it Easy: When it comes to most appliances in our home, ease of use is essential. The air conditioning unit should be no exception to this rule. Many current models are much easier to use than their older counterparts, but there are still some trickier ones on the market.

You should look for one that has digital controls which make programming much easier; some now even have touch screens. Some units feature add-ons like a remote control, various settings, timers, and service lights. However, having these things means nothing if you don’t know how to use them. Have one our technicians give you a walk through of the system before you make the purchase.

Remember, if you have any questions about shopping for a new air conditioning system, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you find the right unit for your home!

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