4 Things to Know Before You Buy a New Air Conditioner
If you are looking to replace or add an air conditioning system this year, here are some things to discuss with your contractor for cool savings now and all season long.
1. What is BTU and how many does my home need?
A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a measure of heat extracted from your home. The more BTUs an air conditioner has, the more space it can effectively cool.
2. What size air conditioner do I need?
It is important to have your contractor measure your home or rooms you want to air condition because an AC unit that is too small or too large will work inefficiently.
For example, an oversized air conditioner will turn on and off more often, increasing your utility bills. Plus, it won’t properly remove the humidity from the air, leaving you with a cold, clammy feeling.
The size of your air conditioning system also depends on other variables such as if your home is heavily shaded or has a southern exposure, how many people live in your home, and if the unit is for a kitchen or bathroom.
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3. What is SEER?
Season Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) is a measure of the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump. It is calculated by dividing a product’s BTU output by its wattage over the course of the cooling season. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit is at converting electricity into cooling power.
The Department of Energy’s current minimum SEER for a split-system AC or heat pump is SEER 13. SEER 13 is 30% more efficient than the previous minimum SEER of 10.
If your air conditioning system is over 12 years old, you should consider replacing it. Today’s air conditioning systems can be up to 50% more energy efficient providing you significant savings on utility bills.
4. I don’t have ductwork. Is there an alternative to window air conditioning units?
Yes – ductless split systems are quieter, safer, and more efficient than window units. Plus, they can be installed in a day or two and can cool up to 9 rooms with one condenser. Similar to central air conditioning systems, ductless split systems provide temperature-controlled comfort via remote control.
For more expert advice or if you have any other heating or cooling questions, contact your local dealer or call 894-COOL.
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