A new air conditioning system is a large investment, and to get the most value for your money, you must choose carefully. There are five common cooling system features that should factor into your ultimate decision.
An air conditioner’s performance is denoted by its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). A system with a higher SEER is more efficient, saving you money on your monthly utility bills. The current federal minimum standard is 13 SEER.
For the most energy savings, choose a system with a high SEER and look for ones that feature the Energy Star logo. This federal program recognizes appliances that are more energy efficient than conventional models.
Look for an A/C unit that’s correctly sized for your home to get the best energy efficiency. A system that’s too small will run constantly at full capacity, which will shorten its life span. It also won’t cool adequately or efficiently. A system that’s too large will cycle on and off frequently, leading to excess wear, poor humidity control and higher energy usage.
To size your system properly, have an energy audit done, perform the recommended repairs and have a professional HVAC contractor do a Manual J load calculation to determine your cooling requirements.
To further reduce energy costs, look for A/C features such as a variable-speed compressors or air handlers, which offer better control over cooling output. For better humidity control, look for a system with an automatic-delay fan control, or at least a separate fan control.
Changing the air filter often is the best way to keep your air conditioner running efficiently and with minimal problems. Choose a system featuring a filter light to remind you when a replacement is necessary.
The amount of noise produced by air conditioners varies significantly from model to model. For your comfort and your sanity, choose one that’s as quiet as possible.
To learn more about any of these A/C features, talk to the HVAC experts at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We’ve been serving the Grand Traverse area for over 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about cooling systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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