No home is truly comfortable without an effective air conditioner. With such a wide range of models, brands and companies to choose from – how do you make the most informed decision? The answer? Ask the right questions.
In this article, we’ll cover 5 key questions you should ask when shopping for a new air conditioner. This will help you to install a quality system which is sized correctly, with low running and maintenance costs.
Is the air conditioner sized correctly?
It may be tempting to install a small air conditioner with a low up-front price. But any money you save to begin with will be cancelled out by higher running and maintenance costs.
When an air conditioner is undersized, it needs to run harder and more frequently to compensate. This results not just in far higher energy bills – but also in increased maintenance costs as components wear out more quickly.
When buying a new air conditioner, ensure the living space is thoroughly measured and assessed. This will ensure you’re getting a unit that is right for the job.
Are there long-term warranties, and what do they cover?
An air conditioning system is a smart investment which not only makes your home more comfortable, it can also increase its value.
Many cheaper brands have an attractive up-front price, but prove unreliable if something goes wrong or needs replacing. Choosing a reputable brand and having it expertly installed is a great starting point. Beyond this, you should ensure there are dependable warranties to give you long-term peace of mind.
At Nice Heating & Air, we only install brands offering ten-year limited warranties on parts, lifetime limited warranties on heat-exchangers, and extended labour warranties.
What is the energy efficiency (SEER) rating?
In the US, the efficiency of air conditioners and heating systems is measured by a ‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio’ – also known as SEER.
In 2015, the US Department of Energy mandated that only air conditioners with a SEER rating of 14 or higher could be installed in Virginia. This delivers better energy efficiency and a lower carbon footprint.
Ask about the SEER rating and be sure to compare this between models. Units featuring high SEER ratings may be more expensive – but deliver much lower (and cheaper) running costs.
Should we consider our indoor air quality?
Take a moment to consider the air quality in your home. Do you suffer from asthma or other allergies? Do you have problems with humidity, pollen – or are there odours which cause problems? An air conditioner does more than just cool the air – it can also filter, purity and de-humidify the air. Removing indoor humidity makes the unit operate more efficiently and delivers lower running costs.
If you have any particular concerns about your air quality, be sure to make this part of the initial discussions.
Who performs the installation and maintenance?
Air conditioning should always be installed by an experienced industry professional.
Many cheaper companies carry out the sale – but then contract out the installation and maintenance to the lowest bidder.
At Nice Heating & Air, we have our own in-house team of trained HVAC professionals. We perform our own installations, repairs and ongoing servicing for all types of new and existing air conditioning systems.
This ensures you’re always dealing with the same locally-owned company, for better long-term peace of mind.
- Are you looking for advice or a quote on a new air conditioning system?
- Do you have questions about which type of system is right for your home?