So you are considering purchasing an air conditioner. How do you know what type of air conditioner you are interested in? How do you know the company you choose is not just up selling you to make a buck? What information should you know before looking into this large purchase?
When it comes to large purchases it can be daunting. Some people extensively research the purchase while others just feel overwhelmed and want someone else to make the decisions for them.
Check out our Complete Central Air Conditioner Buyer Guide for more help buying a new A/C.
Here are 5 things you should consider to make sure you pick the product most suited to your needs.
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Before purchasing ask yourself these 5 questions:
1. What region of the country do you live in?
Canada is a large country and depending where you reside will determine what your needs are. If you live in an environment where hot weather only lasts a few weeks you may want to only worry about cooling down the main living areas with a window air conditioner or a ductless mini split.
If you have warm weather over 3 seasons with varying temperatures you may want to consider a packaged unit that attaches to your furnace and cools your entire home. With varying temperatures it can be handy to have a two speed or variable speed unit that can operate at high or low setting depending on what the needs are that season.
Having the different settings means that you can have your unit running only at the capacity needed to reach your ideal temperature so you can save money with utility costs.
2. How much space do you need to cool down?
Different types of A/C systems are available and necessary for different needs.
A window air conditioner or portable unit, ductless mini-split air conditioner or a packaged central unit. Keeping in mind the amount of rooms you wish to cool down, duration of the year it will be running and how hot the outside temperatures get while it is running will help guide you in choosing the best option for type of air conditioner.
- A window or portable air conditioner will be the least expensive to purchase however not the most convenient for cooling larger areas and multiple rooms.
- A ductless mini split may cost more than a window air conditioner while still only cooling a few rooms however if you are running your air conditioner often, the savings in the utility bills and added convenience may be worth it.
- If you are choosing to cool down your entire home a central unit is most likely the choice for you.
3. How energy efficient is your home?
Are you living in a newly built house with great insulation that’s fully air sealed? Or are you in an old century home with drafts, cracks and old insulation?
Remember the more air exchange with the outdoors the harder your unit will be working to keep the space cool. If your home keeps the air inside your home and recirculates efficiently it will be much less expensive to run than a home that is losing the cooled air and allowing warm air back into the home.
This might be a great time to see what rebates are being offered in your province to help you make your home energy efficient.
4. Is this the home you intend to grow old in?
There are so many different brands, models, and efficiency levels it can be overwhelming picking which one is best for you. If you get the top brand with the highest efficiency rating you are bound to be paying top dollar. Yes you will save money on your energy bills however for the price difference between the various efficiency rated units will you be in your home long enough to see the savings?
You may wish to check out our article on Will replacing an air conditioner or installing an air conditioner improve the value of my home?. Some other factors you may want to look into is which units give you rebates? If you decide to go to a slightly better model and get money back from the government you may be spending the same out of pocket expense as the loss efficient model.
5. How do you pick the best installer for the job?
Did you know that nine times out of ten the installation itself will determine how well your central air conditioner runs? Stated like that it might sound obvious but if you buy the best unit on the market and it is not installed well a less expensive brand may be working superior.
Read our article on Why is it important to choose a reliable and trained technician to install my air conditioner? to get more information on picking a great company.
Is anything missing from this article? Do you have a question you’d like us to answer? Let us know in the comments!