According to Energy Star, the average household family spends 13 percent of their annual utility bill on cooling… so, it’s important to choose the right unit. But installing an HVAC is not just about finding the best brand at the best deal. Whether you’re looking to replace your AC or installing a new unit in a new home, there are factors you need to consider when comparing all the best air conditioning systems out there.
If you want to survive the dog days of summer, you must look at size, efficiency, and controls.
Considerations for the Best Air Conditioning Systems
Two-thirds of all homes in the US have air conditioners but not all of them are sized correctly. And we’re not talking about the physical size of the unit, but rather the amount of air the unit is able to cool. AC units are measured in BTU/hr (British Thermal Units), also referred to in “tons.” One ton of cooling equals 12,000 Btu/hr and this is the measure of the air conditioner’s cooling capacity. For more sizing guidance, use the calculator on the Energy Star website.
Switching to high-efficiency air conditioners and taking other actions to keep your home cool could reduce energy use for air conditioning by 20% to 50%. Energy efficiency describes how much cooling the unit delivers for each watt of electricity and is expressed as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating).
The minimum SEER for a split system central air conditioner allowed today is 13, so be on the lookout for units with SEER ratings of 13 or more. The higher the SEER, the more you’ll see a decrease in energy costs.
Controls Such as Programmable Thermostats
Over the years, new technologies have improved the way HVAC systems function. For example, simply by utilizing a programmable thermostat, residents can reduce cooling costs by up to 20 percent. Built-in digital timers, touchpad control, home comfort zoning, and smart home automation features can all help you save on energy bills, improve efficiencies and conveniently control the temperature of your home. Look for features that will affect performance and efficiency.
Upgrading Existing Systems
If you’re upgrading your central air unit, don’t assume you should purchase the same-sized system. New systems are 20 to 40 percent more efficient than minimum-efficiency models made even 10 years ago. Plus, any updates you’ve made to improve your home’s energy efficiency, such as upgrading your windows or adding insulation, can reduce your cooling needs. Alternatively, if you’ve added rooms, you might require additional cooling.
Once you find the right AC unit for your home, maintain it so it will last. An annual HVAC service plan is one of the best ways to keep your air conditioning unit operating well for years to come (the average lifespan of an HVAC system is 12 to 15 years).
At McCoy's Heating & Air, we offer a convenient service agreement for your AC system known as Preventative Maintenance plan which includes two visits per year (one in the spring, one in the fall) plus a plumbing inspection. Our Preventative Maintenance plan starts at $199.
Choosing from the Best Air Conditioning Systems: Which Unit is Right for You?
If you need assistance in choosing from the best air conditioning systems for your home, one of the McCoy's Heating & Air technicians would be happy to help. Contact us today at 731-668-7492 and stay cool.