If you have ever endured sitting in a home that did not have air conditioning, you know all too well how uncomfortable you were during that experience. Like most people today, you’ve decided having an air conditioner is essential to keeping you and your family comfortable during those hot summer days and nights. Yet when it comes time to purchase an air conditioning unit, many individuals go to the store and buy the first one they find. If you do this, you’re making a big mistake. Since an air conditioner will not only keep your home comfortable but also help in reducing humidity and ridding your home of airborne toxins, it is a decision that should involve several factors. If you are preparing to buy a new air conditioner, here are some important tips to remember.

You Get What You Pay For

If you already have an existing air conditioning unit, you may think it might make more sense to get it repaired rather than buy a new one. However, if your current AC unit is already at least 10 years old, you’ll be better off by getting a new one. With today’s current models, you can expect a well-made air conditioner to last anywhere from 15-20 years, so long as it is properly maintained. But before making that purchase, always do some research first. Remember, you generally get what you pay for, so don’t be afraid to spend a few dollars more for high-quality air conditioning as McAllen air conditioning advice.

Obtain a Load Calculation

Before you buy your air conditioning unit, always make sure you obtain an accurate load calculation from an experienced HVAC technician. This calculation, which factors in your home’s size, roof material, number of appliances in the home, climate zone in which you live, and other factors, will determine the cooling capacity of your home, which is measured in BTUs. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to buy an air conditioner that is the correct size for your home and will have the ability to properly cool all rooms in your house.

Work with a Contractor

When buying your air conditioner, it is best to work closely with a professional HVAC contractor while doing so. Though you can install the air conditioner yourself, you can make many mistakes if you don’t know what you are doing. After all, the last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of dollars on an air conditioning unit, only to see it fall out of the window and to the ground after you’ve finished the installation. By hiring an experienced and knowledgeable HVAC contractor that has an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau, you’ll get such things as accurate load calculations, a professional inspection and installation process, and much more.

SEER Rating

As air conditioning units have become much more efficient over the years, the U.S. Department of Energy has started assigning all units a SEER rating. SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, will be an important factor in helping you choose an AC unit that will be energy-efficient for your home. In 2015, the Department of Energy raised the minimum SEER rating from 13 to 14, so be sure any air conditioning unit you purchase has a SEER rating of at least 14. With most air conditioners, a rating of 14-22 is considered to be very energy-efficient, so keep this in mind when shopping.

Shop During the Off-Season

If you want to avoid the crowds who are trying to buy AC units when it’s hot outside and save yourself plenty of money in the process, shop for your air conditioner during the off-season. By purchasing your air conditioner during the cooler months, you’ll likely find plenty of them in stock and on sale, making it the perfect time for you to buy one.

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Buy a High-Efficiency Model

If you don’t mind spending a bit more money on your AC purchase, splurge on a high-efficiency model for your home. Though you may spend a few more dollars on the initial purchase, chances are you will start to notice substantial savings on your energy bill once you crank up the AC in the summer months. When shopping for a high-efficiency model, always look closely for the Energy Star label, since this will indicate which air conditioning units are considered to be the most energy-efficient.

Consider Buying a Maintenance Plan

Since you have made a big investment in your air conditioning unit and want it to last 15-20 years, you may want to purchase a maintenance plan from the HVAC contractor who installed your AC unit. By doing so, you can be sure your air conditioner will receive an annual tune-up to keep it running safely, smoothly, and efficiently. In addition, buying a maintenance plan will also help keep the warranty valid on your air conditioner, which will come in handy should an unexpected problem arise along the way.

Beware of Online Purchases

While you can certainly buy many high-quality air conditioning units online through various outlets, you may want to carefully consider whether this will be best for your situation. For example, if you are planning to have an HVAC contractor install your air conditioner, you may want to buy a unit directly from them. If you don’t and instead buy one online, a contractor may refuse to install it for you due to it being the wrong size, lacking certain paperwork, or perhaps not being properly matched to your home’s electrical system. Since there are many state and local codes that must be strictly followed when installing any type of appliance such as an air conditioning unit, always check with a local HVAC contractor before making any online purchases.

Since you will depend on your air conditioning system to keep your home comfortable when the outside temperature continues to rise, purchase the best possible air conditioner you can for you and your family. By following the above-mentioned tips, your AC search should be a successful

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