Now is the time to buy a new air conditioner: before the summer heat makes the prices skyrocket. But what kind should you get? What will help you keep your home comfortable without driving your energy bills up too high? There are a number of factors to look at when buying a new air conditioner. Here are a few tips.
- Don't just go for the lowest price.Spending a little extra now may save you a lot more later. A high quality system with high energy efficiency will likely cost you a little more, but it will last longer as well, significantly reducing your energy bills for the next 12 years or more.
- Look at the SEER rating.The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio tells how much cooling a unit produces for the amount of energy it uses in a given season. The higher the number, the more efficient the system. You can find the SEER rating and other important energy information on the yellow EnergyGuide label, which tells you how efficient this particular model is compared to other, similar models.
- Get the unit properly sized.The bigger the A/C, the better it'll cool your house, right? Wrong. A unit that's too big for your home will cycle on and off too frequently, causing it to break down often. Meanwhile, a unit that's too small for your home will have to run longer to reach your desired comfort level, wearing out your system and shortening its lifespan, as well as driving up your energy bills. Get your HVAC contractor to help you find the right size A/C to cool your home effectively.
- Get an Energy Star system.Look for the blue Energy Star logo on the EnergyGuide label. That tells you this model has been certified by the federal Energy Star program to save you money and energy over similar models, for a comparable price, without sacrificing features.
To learn more about buying a new air conditioner, contact Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical. Visit our website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics, or just give us a call at (408) 868-5500.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).