Buying a new air conditioner? There’s a lot to consider. Not only are there many different types, makes, and models of cooling systems, but they each come with different sizes, warranties, and efficiency statistics. How do you go about finding the right air conditioner for your home?
In this article, we’ll outline the most important steps in the air conditioner buying process, including everything you need to consider. Of course, the first step makes everything else easier: calling in a professional.
Here at Foulks, we take all the stress and hassle out of upgrading to a new air conditioner. We offer free in-home estimates and our technician will work with you every step of the way to ensure your home gets the right cooling system. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home estimate here in Amite, Hammond, and Southeastern Louisiana.
When buying a new air conditioner, follow these 5 steps
1. Call a professional
If you need a new air conditioner, it’s always a good idea to start by talking to a professional. Most reputable HVAC companies—including ours—offer free in-home estimates on a new cooling systems. This effectively means you get a no-cost consultation regarding your cooling system options, as well as an upfront quote on several different system types.
The first decision to make is finding the right type of cooling system for your home’s comfort needs. The most popular options include:
- Central air conditioners: Also known as “forced-air systems,” these are the standard AC units that use in-home ductwork to transport cooled air to all the rooms of your home.
- Heat pumps: Heat pumps are two-in-one systems that provide both summer cooling and winter heating. They work well in mild winter climates, so they’re a great fit for homes around here.
- Ductless systems: In a popular mini-split configuration, these systems include wall-mounted blowers that go in different rooms of your home. With no need for ductwork, you can add cooling (and heating) to sunrooms, home additions, guest suites, and garages.
During your free in-home estimate, our technician will review all your cooling options with you and discuss what systems might be the best fit for your home.
2. Have Foulks help you with sizing your AC unit
An air conditioner’s “size” refers to the cooling capacity of the unit. It is measured in tons, or British thermal unit per hour (Btu/hr). One ton is equal to about 12,000 Btu/hr. The size of the air conditioner appropriate for the home depends on the total square footage that needs to be cooled, as well as several other factors such as the number of windows and doors.
For instance, an area of 100 to 150 square feet requires a unit with a capacity of 5,000 BTU. Also, an area of 450 to 550 square feet requires an air conditioner with a capacity of 12,000 BTU. Check out this U.S. Energy Star guide to find out the correct cooling capacity needed to cool your house.
3. Select an energy-efficient system
Another important thing to consider when buying a new air conditioner is the energy-efficiency. You should select an air conditioner with a cooling efficiency of more than 13 SEER. A higher rating will mean better energy-efficiency, resulting in increased savings.
Energy-efficiency is important. Since your air conditioner will be around for the next 15-20 years, this is your chance to get as efficient of a system as possible. Even a small improvement in efficiency between systems can add up to hundreds of dollars when 15-20 summers are taken into account. The team at Foulks Southern Air makes it easier than ever to find energy-efficient systems. We’re a Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer, which means we install some of the most efficient air conditioners, heat pumps, and ductless systems available today.
4. Choose the right refrigerant type
When buying a new air conditioner, you should make sure that the unit uses the newer R-410A refrigerant. Do not be tempted to buy an air conditioner with older refrigerants, such as R-22. These refrigerants not only fail to cool the room properly, but will also cause harm to the environment.
At Foulks Southern Air, we only install new air conditioners with R-410A refrigerant. These air conditioners are essentially “future-proof,” and will ensure you don’t get stuck with an AC unit that uses an outdated and prohibited type of refrigerant that will be harder and harder to replace in the coming decades.
5. Schedule annual maintenance with the Foulks team
Technically speaking, this is something that happens after your installation has been completed. But, it’s critical to think about annual maintenance now. Regular professional tune-ups will help protect your new air conditioner, heat pump, or ductless system for many years to come. Plus, many manufacturers—including Carrier—have manufacturer’s warranties that stipulate that you must schedule once-per-year checkups.
Of course, annual maintenance is also essential to ensure the smooth operation of your air conditioner. Make sure that you contact a reputable technician—such as the team at Foulks—to schedule a tune-up of your cooling device. Dirt, dust, and other debris that build up inside the unit can cause serious damage to the unit over time. Having the unit serviced regularly will ensure that the system operates without any problems.
Get a free in-home estimate from our team
If you live in Hammond, Amite City, or southwestern Louisiana, call Foulks Heating and Cooling. Our NATE-certified technicians can guide you in selecting the best air conditioner for your home.