After long summer months in the Florida heat, after enjoying the hottest days inside in comfort, your air conditioner has finally called it quits. After 15 or 20 years, an AC unit will begin to need more and more maintenance until it finally becomes more costly to repair it than it does for air conditioning replacement. So as you’re shopping for a new unit, what do you look for? Oftentimes, homeowners buy a house with an existing unit so first-time AC unit buyers have a hard time understanding what’s important and what is just an added feature that doesn’t provide any real value.
At Modern Services, if you’re shopping for a new air conditioner, we’ll do our best to give you the necessary information so you can make an informed decision. Buying a new air conditioner is an investment in a product that you may use nearly every single day in Florida, so make sure you know what you’re buying. Here are a few factors to consider as you’re looking around.
The Type of Unit
While central air conditioners are the most common, there are several other types that may fit your needs depending on the size of your home and budget.
- Window Air Conditioners: These are self-contained units that are most often installed in a window and work well for apartments or smaller single-family homes.
- Air Source Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are energy efficient and low maintenance, but are more costly to install. Unlike many systems, heat pumps use electricity to concentrate the warm air inside a home and blows it outside.
- Ductless Air Conditioners: A more permanent option than window AC units, but still beneficial for homes without a duct system, ductless AC units are also known as split or mini-split systems.
- Portable Air Conditioners: Typically only a temporary solution, portable AC units can be moved around a home to provide a single space with cooling.
- Central Air: Using a duct system to blow cool air throughout an entire home, central air conditioners are quiet systems and provide maximum comfort.
The Size of the Unit
In order for an air conditioner to be as efficient as possible for your home, it needs to be the right size. If it’s too small, it will waste energy trying to cool a space that it doesn’t have the capacity for. If it’s too big, it will cycle too frequently, also wasting energy and increasing your electric bill. To determine whether you’re getting the right air conditioning replacement, a technician can perform a load calculation. They will look at a variety of factors, including the square footage of your home, the climate in the area, the material of your roof, how tall your ceilings are, the type of windows, the ductwork, and other relevant information.
The size of an air conditioner is often referred to as how many BTUs or British Thermal Units, it has. The BTU number will tell you how powerful an air conditioner is. If you’re looking at a unit that has 46,000 BTUs, then it will produce 46,000 BTUs of energy over the course of an hour.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio was established by the U.S. Department of Energy and measures the efficiency of air conditioning units by determining how much energy it uses to cool a home. The greater SEER rating a unit has, the more efficient it is. SEER ratings range from 13 to 22, but typically the higher the SEER number, the more expensive the unit will be. However, the more efficient a unit is, the better it will be at saving energy, and therefore, saving money on your electric bill.
Easy to Clean Filters
Having a clean filter is essential when you want the unit to operate efficiently and your home to have clean air. As the unit is running, the filter will trap air pollutants such as allergens, dust, pollen, and other debris. If the filters are hard to reach, it’s less likely that they will be cleaned or replaced often, which will ultimately cause the unit to function inefficiently and the pollutants will eventually end up in your home.
If you’re buying a new air conditioner, it’s a good idea to look at what kind of warranty is being offered. The details of the warranty will depend on where it’s purchased from and the type of unit it is. Warranties typically cover parts and sometimes a compressor replacement for any number of years, though five to 10 years is common.
Modern Services has been providing high-quality air conditioning replacements and more in western Florida since 1965. If you’re looking for a new air conditioner, you can expect to receive superior service and a team of knowledgeable technicians who can help you throughout the process. We understand that needing a new unit can sometimes come by surprise, so we offer AC replacement financing options as well as specials for new air conditioning systems. We’ll make sure that you can enjoy a comfortable home without any undue stress on your finances.
Get in touch with our technicians today if you have any questions.