If your AC has reached the end of its usable life, generally somewhere between 10-15 years, the task of purchasing a new one can feel daunting. We hope this advice will help you make the best decision for your needs and your budget!
Prioritize HVAC Specialists
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of enlisting a trusted HVAC specialist to help you with the task of choosing a new AC system. Take time to talk with friends and relatives for recommendations, visit resources such as the Better Business Bureau to find trusted local providers, and meet with a few potential companies before selecting an HVAC-certified and licensed contractor to do the job right.
Be Realistic, Not Idealistic
Often, clients assume that the larger the unit, the better it will cool their home. But it just doesn’t work that way. Your contractor will need to carefully measure the rooms in your home in order to determine the right sized unit for your cooling needs, so do not rush to choose the largest unit in hopes that it will be the best path to a cool and comfortable indoor environment.
Another common assumption that we’d like to challenge is that you should choose a unit with the highest SEER rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, possible. As you may have guessed, the SEER rating measures how energy efficient a unit is.
While energy efficiency is important, do not be tempted to choose a unit with a SEER rating that is way higher than necessary for the climate and conditions of your area. As Tom Howard writing for Angie’s List explains, “While the federally regulated minimum SEER rating for an air conditioner is 13 or 14 depending on where you live, the ranking goes as high as 25. However, determining the right SEER for your new A/C unit isn’t as straightforward as choosing a specific number. You also have to consider the climate of your home to determine the impact of swapping out your system to one of a different SEER rating.” Talk with your trusted HVAC professional about which SEER rating is best for your home.
Take Advantage of Tax Credits and Rebates
The federal government and many states provide tax credits and rebates for homeowners to offset the cost of replacing HVAC systems. Do your research, and take advantage of programs for which you are eligible. While your HVAC professional may be familiar with such programs, you can also consult this resource from the U.S. Department of Energy.
We hope you have found this post helpful. If you would like more guidance, we are here to provide it.