Buying an end-of-season air conditioner puts homeowners in the position to garner big savings. Upgrading your air conditioner now only helps to reduce energy costs, and if you do it right, you can reap low lifetime costs from your new system.Fall is an ideal season for installing new equipment, as this is often a time when the extreme heat of the summer has eased and the cold of winter is still months away.
In order to get the most out of your purchase, you’ll need to make an educated decision when buying an end-of-season air conditioner. Here’s what you need to know:
- Efficiency – The seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of your new system matters a great deal. Select a more efficient system, and you’ll see more dramatic energy savings. Because our region requires more cooling, this is where you want to invest more of your dollars by selecting a high-efficiency system, or one rated above SEER 16.
- Features – Manufacturers use a variety of features to boost efficiency. Be sure to compare air conditioners that utilize a two-stage compressor, variable-speed air handler and thermal expansion valve. All of these features combine to drive savings — and comfort — up.
- Sizing – With SEER and features selected, the job’s not yet done. Next, ensure that your HVAC contractor properly sizes the unit using the industry-leading method called ACCA Manual J load calculation. Doing so ensures that your new A/C can meet the cooling load of your home, maximizing comfort and savings, without being oversized and short-cycling. A U.S. Department of Energy study revealed that over one half of all HVAC contractors do not size systems properly.
- Installation – The final step in the process, a quality installation supports optimal system efficiency. Your contractor should measure the airflow in your home (if the blower is operational) with a balometer – or flowhood – and visually inspect all of the accessible ductwork to determine if that part of the system is in need of repair or replacement. This step in the process is as important as any other in the process…if the refrigerant charge is not set correctly, a new 16 SEER can be less efficient than an old 10 SEER. How the system performs and how long it lasts is a reflection of the expertise of the installing contractor.
Buying an end-of-season air conditioner? Make the smart choice. In greater San Antonio, contact Jon Wayne Heating & Air Conditioning today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Jon Wayne Heating and Air Conditioning services San Antonio and the surrounding communities of Seguin, New Braunfels, Bulverde, Boerne, and Comal County. Visit our website to see our special offers to get started today!
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