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Tips for When You’re Buying an Air Conditioner

Tips for When You're Buying an Air ConditionerIf you plan to buy a new air conditioner for your home this spring, don’t go unprepared. A variety of pitfalls can leave you with a central A/C that wastes energy, doesn’t properly cool your home, and requires frequent repairs.

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What Do Air Conditioner Ratings Mean?

What Do Air Conditioner Ratings Mean?Knowing something about air conditioner ratings helps remove the element of surprise from a new A/C purchase. Obviously, there are two costs involved in any new air conditioner: the upfront sticker price and the long-term cost of operating the unit. A buying decision should be based on more than just the immediate purchase price and should also take into account non-financial factors that affect the unit’s performance including noise levels. Here’s how air conditioner ratings can help you make an informed buying decision and avoid the unexpected.

SEER Basics

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and it’s the primary air conditioner rating utilized to express the energy efficiency of a central A/C. You’ll find the unit’s SEER rating printed conspicuously on the Department of Energy’s bright yellow EnergyGuide sticker that accompanies every new air conditioner. It’s also included in the manufacturer’s printed product information.

SEER is a numeral that expresses the ratio between the amount of heat removed from your house in BTUs versus the amount of electricity consumed in kilowatt hours. Today, SEER ratings begin at the federal minimum of 13 here in northern regions and rise as high as the mid-20s. The higher the SEER numeral is, the more efficient the air conditioner and the lower your long-term operating costs will be.

Beyond SEER

Generally speaking, a higher SEER rating also comes with a steeper sticker price, too, so it’s important to strike the best balance between a favorable SEER rating and an upfront purchase cost that is affordable now. Also remember that long-term cooling costs depend on other factors beyond SEER, such as the amount of insulation in the house and how well the structure is sealed to prevent heat gain.

Noise Ratings

You (and your neighbors) will be more happy with a central A/C that’s quiet and polite. Air conditioner sound ratings include decibels (db) and SRN. An A/C with a db rating between 70 and 88 or an SRN averaging between 75 and 80 is considered appropriate for residential installations.

For more advice on air conditioner ratings, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

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 air conditioner ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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Here’s How You Can Troubleshoot Your Air Conditioner

Here's How You Can Troubleshoot Your Air ConditionerYour air conditioner sure works up a sweat to keep your Traverse City home cool. Scheduled preventive maintenance helps ensure it does its job efficiently without any problems. Though, there are so many parts and functions your A/C system performs that, sooner or later, issues are bound to occur. Use these troubleshooting tips if your A/C system is acting up.

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5 A/C Features to Look For When Shopping for a New Cooling System

5 A/C Features to Look For When Shopping for a New Cooling SystemA 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.

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5 Energy-Efficient Reasons to Buy Matching Indoor and Outdoor Units

5 Energy-Efficient Reasons to Buy Matching Indoor and Outdoor UnitsIt’s rare for both main components of a central air conditioner to fail at the same time. Usually, either the outdoor condenser/compressor gives out or the indoor evaporator coil fails. When this happens, you may be tempted to replace just the failed component to save money. Buying matching indoor and outdoor units is a better choice for the following reasons.

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Heating and Cooling Basics: The Definition of HVAC

Heating and Cooling Basics: The Defnition of HVACIf someone asks you the definition of HVAC, you”ll probably say it has to do with home heating and cooling. That’s correct, but the term HVAC actually stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. These components each have a vital role to play in maintaining a healthy, comfortable home. Let’s take a closer look at each of the components that make up an HVAC system.

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A/C Upgrade? Learn Why You Should Choose a Variable-Speed Air Handler

A/C Upgrade? Learn Why You Should Choose a Variable-Speed Air HandlerWhen you’re ready for an air conditioning upgrade, make sure you look for features that improve comfort and save energy. Advances in design and efficiency mean that you have more choices than ever before. One of the top A/C features to consider is a variable-speed air handler. Keep reading to learn what an air handler does, along with its benefits. 

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The EnergyGuide Label: A Quick Glimpse at Energy Savings

The EnergyGuide Label: A Quick Glimpse at Energy SavingsWhen you are shopping for a new HVAC system, be sure to have a look at the EnergyGuide label. Created by the U.S. Department of Energy, the EnergyGuide label provides an easy way to compare the energy usage of a major appliances to similar products, helping you to choose the one with the best energy efficiency and features for your budget. The labels are standard on air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces and other major appliances, and they contain similar information for each.

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Air Conditioner Noises Your System Should Never Make

Air Conditioner Noises Your System Should Never MakeAir conditioners contain mechanical and electronic components that make many different noises while cooling your home. You’re probably accustomed to your system’s sounds and ticks, but some air conditioner noises are signs of potential problems. Read through the following list of common problem noises to see if you can troubleshoot the issue before making a service call.

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Common Fixes for an A/C That Is Blowing Hot Air

Common Fixes for an A/C That Is Blowing Hot AirIf your home feels unusually warm and you discover the A/C is blowing hot air, you’ll want to identify the cause and get it fixed fast to restore comfort. Here are five of the most common fixes for this problem, with advice on which ones you can easily remedy yourself and when to call for expert help.

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