How to Buy a New Air Conditioner
Getting a new air conditioner for your St. Peters, MO, home is a major investment. It should serve you for 10 to 15 years, so you want to make sure it will last. Whether you live in St. Peters or St. Louis, make sure you hire licensed HVAC installers like the Indoor Comfort Team. We have supplied this information to help you get what you need to know before buying a new AC system.
Get the Right Size of New AC
First and foremost, you will need to figure out what size of unit you need for your home. While it may seem that larger is better, that is not the case for air conditioning units. Determining the right AC size requires a professional who can perform a load calculation. This calculation will measure the amount of cooling and heating power your home requires.
Calculating the right size AC for your home involves several factors including:
- the size of your home (square feet)
- the climate zone
- the roof material
- how your home faces and more
Failing to get the right-sized unit will cost you on two fronts: utility bills and premature AC repairs. If your air conditioner is too small, it will struggle to provide enough cool air your home. That can lead to longer cooling cycles that expend more energy and put more wear on your system.
Conversely, an oversized AC system will get your home to the set temperature too quickly, causing short cycling. While that might not sound like an issue, repeatedly starting and stopping will make your unit wear out more quickly. It also prevents your air conditioner from properly conditioning the air, including balancing its humidity levels.
Contact Indoor Comfort Team to get a free assessment and quote of a new air conditioning installation for your home. You can request a free quote by leaving us a message online or by calling us at (314) 230-9542.
Evaluate the SEER Rating
Efficiency is a critical component of evaluating new air conditioners. You’ll want to keep an eye out for the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The ratio divides the cooling output by the energy used to indicate how efficiently an air conditioner operates.
The Department of Energy increased the minimum SEER rating in 2015, raising it to from 13 to 14. This means that most systems manufactured before 2015 are less efficient than systems currently available.
The more efficiently your system runs, the less it’ll cost to cool your home. However, more efficient systems tend to cost more than less efficient systems. The right option is often a balance between installation and utility costs.
Consider Two-Stage Compressors
The compressor is the most important component of a central air conditioning system. Without this working properly, the system cannot transfer the heat from inside the house to the air outside. Air conditioners offer two different kinds of compressors, single and two-stage models.
Single-stage compressors essentially work on high all the time. This simplifies the system and frequently costs less to install. The tradeoff is that it costs more to run and wears the compressor more quickly.
Two-stage compressors, on the other hand, have higher and lower operating settings. When the system is running to maintain the temperature, it’ll typically need the lower setting. This reduces the energy consumed, as well as the wear on the compressor itself, but costs more to install.
How To Buy Your Unit
There are a few different ways to go about purchasing a new central air conditioner. You can buy it from a local retail supplier or even some online retailers or wholesalers. When you go this route, you will be left having to figure out how you’ll install it. You may not be able to hire a professional HVAC company to install a unit you purchased yourself.
Call Indoor Comfort Team at (314) 230-9542 before you purchase an AC or any other type of cooling system. This warning also applies to Ductless Mini Split systems. There are many mini split units available for homeowners to purchase and install themselves. However, homeowners often find the task overwhelming and find themselves needing to hire a professional to finish the job.
The other option, more commonly used, is purchasing a unit from the HVAC company you choose for installation. Purchasing from an approved dealer allows you to take advantage of rebates and other incentives. Plus, you know the company responsible for serving the unit should it malfunction prematurely.
When to Buy
The time of year that you purchase your unit has a significant impact on its cost. If at all possible, plan for a replacement in the off-season, such as the fall or winter. Many AC manufacturers offer rebates during these seasons, not to mention that it’s easier to schedule the installation.
The perfect time to install an air conditioner is in the early spring. This time of year is well before you need to rely upon your home’s HVAC systems to cool your home. You should consider contacting a licensed HVAC contractor as early as late winter in order to schedule a springtime installation.
Are you not sure whether your air conditioner needs to be replaced? It is a good idea for homeowners to do a simple test at the start of spring (or before) to make sure their AC units will last them another hot Missouri summer.
Simply turn down the temperature on your programmable thermostat to get your AC to kick on. Let it run for awhile and test if it works. If you encounter any problems, call Indoor Comfort Team or another St Louis area HVAC company. We can give your system a maintenance and safety check and handle any necessary repairs.