Need To Replace Your A/C This Year? Do Your Homework Now

If you’re thinking that you’ll need to replace your air conditioner this year, you’ll find that the technology has advanced quite a bit since you bought your present unit. Air conditioners today are more efficient than ever. But it’s not enough to go out and buy just any air conditioner. You’ll want the cooling system that meets the specific needs of your home and your family’s lifestyle. Do your homework now, and you’ll wind up with an A/C that serves you well for many years.

The three most important considerations when you upgrade your system are the size of the new unit, its energy efficiency and the final installation.

Sizing

Your HVAC contractor will base the size of your system on your cooling load. Several factors influence your cooling load, among them:

  • The amount of insulation in your home.
  • Windows, their energy efficiency and their orientation to the sun.
  • Air infiltration.
  • Layout of your home.
  • The number of people in your household.

Your contractor will plug these factors into the industry-accepted standard for determining HVAC-system size, Manual J, to arrive at the number of tons you need to cool your home. Reduce your cooling load before you buy your new unit, and you may be able to get a smaller size. This will save you money up front and down the line, when you’re running your air conditioner.

Energy efficiency

Along with getting a unit that’s sized properly, you’ll want an air conditioner that’s highly efficient. All air conditioners must have a minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio of 13. The most efficient systems have SEER ratings in the mid-20s. Choosing an A/C with the Energy Star or Energy Star Most Efficient designation means that your utility bills will be as low as possible.

Installation

The outdoor condenser should be placed in a location where it receives minimal sunshine and has clearance on all sides, which helps the refrigerant do its job. If possible, place the indoor air handler in a conditioned space. Also ask your HVAC contractor to thoroughly inspect your ductwork and make repairs as necessary. This will help to ensure optimal air delivery. And while you’re at it, discuss zoned cooling and heating with your contractor.

Once you’ve done your homework, contact the Beyer Boys. We can help you find the unit that’s perfect for your home. And then we can see to it that it’s installed correctly and maintained for many years to come We’ve served San Antonio-area homeowners since 1990.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, visit our website.

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