If your current air conditioner is on its last legs, or if you’re otherwise in the market for a new air conditioner, it’s best to have access to a few solid shopping tips so you know what to look for in a new unit and improve your chances of buying a new model that gets the job done. Besides consulting with Austin area AC service professionals, you can also put the following tips to good use.
Pay Close Attention to SEER Values
An air conditioner unit’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio, often abbreviated as SEER, measures how efficient the unit is; the higher the rating, the more overall efficiency you can expect. That being said, you’re better off opting for a unit that has a ratio of no more than 14. This is because you really don’t need a higher SEER rating, unless you live in the desert. More isn’t always better in cases such as this. In fact, a SEER rating of more than 14 can actually cost you more in the long run, mainly because of the sheer cost of properly maintaining a unit with a rating higher than 16.
Be Sure Your Unit Is the Right Size
Rather than opt for a new air conditioner that’s the exact same size of your current unit, you’ll be better off having a professional technician check to see that your current unit is the right size for your home. An air conditioner that’s either too big or too small is sure to cost you in the long run. Some of the factors that determine the size of your unit include your home’s insulation, your geographic location and your home’s square footage.
Ask About Rebate Offers
There’s a chance the unit you’re considering has a rebate offer you can take advantage of. Such offers can go a long way in reducing the overall cost of your unit. While you’re shopping for an air conditioner, be sure to inquire about rebates, discounts and specials to save yourself some money while getting a high-quality unit.
Start Shopping Around for Contractors
As you’re looking for the perfect unit for your home, you’ll also want to start searching for a qualified contractor to install the unit. Turn to your friends and family to see if they have any recommendations, and be sure to check online as well. Ask for references, get quotes and check online to see what kind of reputation the contractor has before agreeing to anyone’s services. Be sure to gather quotes from several contractors, making sure you look over each to see what’s included, what’s extra and what’s excluded.
Know That the Lowest Price Isn’t Always the Best
While looking over the estimates you received from contractors, bear in mind that the least expensive quote isn’t always your best bet, mainly because that low quote could result in high spending later on down the line. For instance, a more expensive and more efficient unit can save you money in the long run, and such a unit might last longer than a less expensive unit.
Think About Getting a Maintenance Contract
It’s a good idea to think ahead while shopping for a brand new unit. Know that your new unit will eventually need maintenance and servicing in the years ahead, and asking the contractor who installs your unit about maintenance contract can save you money in the future. With a service contract, your unit is inspected and serviced once a year, which can help you to avoid major and expensive repairs by taking care of them when they’re small and inexpensive (hopefully).
Pay Attention to Where You Install Your Unit
If it’s at all possible, install your new air conditioning unit on either the east or north side of your home out of direct sunlight. This is so your unit doesn’t get hotter than necessary, which can make it work harder than necessary to maintain your desired temperature. While you’re at it, you should also leave plenty of room around your unit to let it “breathe” as it draws in air.
The right air conditioner makes a huge difference when it comes to being as comfortable as possible in your own home. Use these suggestions during your search to find the perfect selection for your personal requirements.