5 Tips for Buying a New Air Conditioner

Purchasing a new air conditioning unit is a significant investment that requires careful consideration to ensure you select a unit that meets your needs, budget, and preferences. At Advantage Heating & Air Conditioning, we understand how critical this decision is to your comfort and home efficiency. 

To help you make an informed choice, we’ve compiled five essential tips for buying a new air conditioner.

1. Determine the Right Size for Your Space

Selecting the correct size central air conditioning unit is important for both efficiency and comfort. A central air conditioner that’s too small will struggle to cool your home, leading to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills. Conversely, an oversized AC unit will cycle on and off frequently, causing wear and tear, and may not effectively dehumidify your space.

To determine the appropriate size, consult with an HVAC professional who can perform a load calculation. This calculation considers factors such as room size, ceiling height, insulation, window size and location, and local climate to determine the air conditioner with the right cooling capacity for your home in BTUs (British Thermal Units). By ensuring the right size, you’ll enjoy optimal cooling efficiency and longevity from your air conditioner.

2. Consider Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a key factor when selecting a new air conditioning system, or any HVAC system. An energy-efficient unit can significantly reduce your energy bills and environmental impact. Look for air conditioners with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit.

The minimum SEER rating required by law in Central Indiana is 14, but units with a SEER rating of 16 or higher are generally considered efficient. Additionally, check for the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates that the unit meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Investing in energy-efficient air conditioning units might have a higher upfront cost, but the savings on your energy bills over the lifespan of the unit can more than makeup for the initial investment.

3. Evaluate the Features

Modern central air conditioners come with a variety of features designed to enhance comfort and convenience. Here are some key features to consider:

  • Programmable Thermostat: These allow you to set your air conditioner to operate at specific times, helping you save energy by cooling your home only when needed.
  • Smart Technology: Some units can be controlled via smartphone apps, offering remote control and access to adjust settings and monitor energy usage.
  • Variable-Speed Blowers: These adjust the flow of cool air for more precise temperature control and increased energy efficiency.
  • Quiet Operation: Noise levels can vary significantly between models. Look for units designed to operate quietly, especially if the air conditioner will be installed near bedrooms or living areas.

By evaluating these features, you can choose a quality air conditioner that aligns with your lifestyle and enhances your overall comfort.

4. Check the Warranty

A reliable warranty and robust after-sales support are crucial when purchasing a new air conditioner. The warranty provides peace of mind and protection against unexpected repairs. Typically, air conditioners come with a limited warranty that covers parts and sometimes labor for a specific period.

Carefully read the warranty terms and understand what is covered. Pay attention to the duration of the coverage and any conditions that might void the warranty, such as improper installation or lack of regular maintenance.

5. Budget for Installation and Maintenance

The cost of the air conditioner itself is just one part of the total expense. Professional installation is essential to ensure your unit operates efficiently and reliably. Installing a central air conditioning unit isn’t like installing a window air conditioner—it requires the knowledge and skill of a licensed HVAC professional. Window air conditioners you can install on your own, but central air conditioning units need to be installed by the pros.

Improper installation can lead to performance issues, reduced efficiency, and even potential damage to the unit. When budgeting for a new air conditioner, factor in the cost of professional installation by a licensed HVAC technician.

Regular maintenance is also crucial for keeping your air conditioner running smoothly. This includes tasks such as cleaning or replacing filters, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting the system for wear and tear. Many HVAC companies offer maintenance plans that can help you stay on top of these tasks and extend the life of your unit.

Investing in regular maintenance not only ensures optimal performance but can also prevent costly repairs down the line. Make sure to include the cost of maintenance in your overall budget.

Get Professional Guidance When Selecting a New Air Conditioner

Purchasing a new air conditioner is a significant decision that can impact your comfort, energy bills, and overall home environment for years to come. By taking the time to determine the right size, consider energy efficiency, evaluate features, check warranties and after-sales support, and budget for installation and maintenance, you can make an informed decision that meets your needs and preferences.

At Advantage Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re here to help you through every step of the process. Our team of experts can provide professional guidance, top-quality products, and reliable installation and maintenance services to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Contact us today to learn more about our air conditioning solutions and how we can help you achieve optimal home comfort.

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