When you’re upgrading your air conditioning, it’s helpful to have a buyer’s guide to maximize your investment. After all, buying an air conditioner means you’re fronting a lot of hard-earned money to cool your home. If you don’t consider proper installation, quality and efficiency, you risk your long-term savings and home comfort.
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The efficiency rating of the system you select will dictate your annual energy savings. High-efficiency air conditioners start at a seasonal energy efficiency ratio of 16. And over the life of the equipment, higher SEER-rated systems will net you substantial energy savings over systems with a lower SEER rating.[/li] [li]
To get the most out of your investment, that high-efficiency air conditioner requires expert Installation. In fact, experts estimate that poor installation can lead to significant energy losses if airflow, duct size and air supply and return systems are not up to par.[/li] [li]
The size of the system you select will also affect your savings and home comfort. A reputable contractor will determine your home’s unique cooling load and then match an air conditioner’s output to that load. The risks of an improperly sized unit are high. Among them are increased wear and tear on the system, higher repairs and compromised home comfort.[/li] [li]
Choosing a reputable manufacturer can mean the difference between a lasting, durable air conditioner and one that breaks down. Buying an air conditioner that’s manufactured by a premier company gives you an edge because of the company’s years of expertise in producing quality HVAC equipment. The quality of the equipment you select greatly contributes to system performance and longevity, but not nearly as much as . . .[/li] [li]
Major consumer watchdog publications state that finding the right contractor is what matters most — more than brand and even more than price. You see, the U.S. Department of Energy reveals that more than half of all HVAC contractors design and size the systems they install incorrectly. An unscrupulous contractor can install what is perceived as a premium brand, only to have the unknowing homeowner suffer years of frustration, discomfort and untapped efficiency potential because the system was not sized, designed or installed correctly.[/li] [li]
No system will operate at its peak without regular maintenance. So once it’s installed, you’ll want to schedule an A/C maintenance appointment every year. In fact, in climates like that of San Antonio’s, experts recommend that you service your A/C twice a year for optimal results.[/li] [/ol]