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What To Look For In A New Air Conditioner

Finding The Right Unit For Your Home Can Be A Challenge. Read On & You’ll Be Saying “Challenge Accepted!”

You’ve done everything you were supposed to do to keep your AC running well. You made sure to pamper it with regular maintenance. Whenever something went wrong, you placed it in the care of a professional for expert repairs. But even with all of that, it’s inevitable that one day your air conditioner will kick the bucket for good. When that time comes, you’ll have to choose the right replacement for your home – and that’s not easy. Luckily, Comfort First has decades of experience you can borrow to help choose the right air conditioning unit for your home, your needs and your budget.

new AC unit is a major investment and you can’t afford to get it wrong. Make sure you’re armed with the knowledge you need to take the stress out of the situation and make your decision an easy one. Read on for our best tips so you can navigate the process like a pro!

Make Sure You & Your New Unit SEER Eye To Eye

SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency rating,” and it is used to measure the efficiency of an air conditioning unit. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit – and the higher the efficiency, the lower your operational costs. Who doesn’t like saving money on their power bill? 

In fact, in the interest of mitigating the environmental impact of air conditioners and their energy use, federal regulations will require a SEER score of 14 for ACs in northern states and 15 for those in the southern states. Of course, the higher the score the more expensive the unit, but shooting for a score around 15 or 16 will get you high efficiency at a reasonable cost.

Tonnage Matters

For AC units, tonnage isn’t a reference to how much the unit itself weighs – it’s a measure of how much heat the unit can remove from your home in an hour. In other words, it helps you to figure out what size air conditioner you need to fit your home. Too large a unit and you’ll be wasting money for no benefit; too small a unit and it’ll have to work harder, wearing it down prematurely and raising your power bills.

A good rule of thumb is to assume you’ll need one ton capacity for every 500 square feet your home has. However, there are a lot of other factors – climate, windows, attic space, orientation to the sun and more – that can affect how much cooling power you’ll need. To get the most accurate assessment, you should have a technician come out to your home to do an inspection.

Who Installs The Unit Is As Important As The Unit

You can purchase the best, most feature-packed and efficient air conditioner money can buy – and it won’t matter a bit if it’s not installed correctly. It’s not something you can do on your own, either. Make sure to work with a contractor with a proven track record of high–quality installation and professional service (we happen to know somebody). Here are some good things to check:

  • Do they have a physical address? If they don’t, it could be a major red flag.
  • Can they provide references? It’s important to hear from others about the quality of their work.
  • Do they guarantee their work? It’s always nice to know they stand behind what they do.
  • Are they licensed and insured? Don’t ever assume. Ask to see the proof.

Something else that’s important to find out – do they offer an annual maintenance plan? Regular maintenance can help assure that your new system lasts its whole expected lifespan – maybe even longer. 

Think About Additional Features

Obviously the most important thing about an air conditioner is how well it will provide comfort to your home. But there are some impressive additional features that come with some units that can add even more capability and value. Here are some of our favorites:

  • A “Check Filter” Light – It’s always good to have a reminder when it’s time to change the filter.
  • Dehumidification – If you live in a high-humidity area, an AC that can also remove excess moisture from the air would be ideal.
  • Variable Speed Compressor – Rather than being just “off” or just “on,” a variable speed compressor can adjust to your home’s needs and save you energy in the process.
  • Copper Coils – Having copper coils in your condenser is advantageous as they are simpler to maintain, last longer and cool faster.

You Don’t Have To Do It Alone

Choosing a new air conditioner is certainly a daunting task, but don’t feel like you have to do it by yourself. You’ll have by far the best results working with a trusted contractor that can determine what you need, provide the best options and install it with professional workmanship. By all means, we encourage you to go with who you’re most comfortable with – but never forget that Comfort First is ready and willing to help with anything you need. Call us at 800-279-4822 today!

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What a great experience. Each and everyone that we had come out to our home from AJ who helped us pick out the system that was best for our home to the installers the spent almost a whole day ...


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