Choosing the right type of air conditioner for your home can be a daunting task. A quick online search will reveal a whole network of blogs and videos talking about BTU's, dual-stage cooling, and SEER ratings. While knowing all of those numbers can be important in making your decision, the hard part is being able to decipher what those mean and why they're important for your home.
That's why, instead of throwing a bunch of random acronyms at you, we want to give you a series of questions to ask yourself if you're considering a new AC system installation. If there are any questions, be sure to call your local HVAC contractor and ask for advice. They'll be more than happy to help guide you in the right direction.
What's My Budget?
The most important question in any home project is understanding your own personal budget. A new AC system installation can cost anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on what type of work needs to be done. For that reason, it's important to know how much you can spend at the outset and how much you hope to save if you're looking to upgrade to a more energy-efficient system. By far, the cheapest option on the table will be a window AC unit, whereas a geothermal air conditioning unit can set you back around $30,000. A central air conditioning system, which is one of the most popular setups, is between $3-7,000.
What's My Home's Square Footage?
After you know your all-in budget (ductwork, unit, thermostat, etc), it's important to know how much space you plan on cooling. A single-room studio apartment can normally get by with a window unit, while a typical three-bedroom family home will most likely need a central air conditioning system. Also, consider how much of your room you plan on cooling. If you already have a system in place and just need to cool a single room (like an office or a garage gym), consider a ductless ventilation system that operates independently from the rest of your system.
Do I Need Any Extras?
While most air conditioning systems come with some kind of warranty, they're not all created equal. Some manufacturers back their's up with a lifetime warranty, while others only guarantee their system for a year. You should also decide how important energy-saving features are to you. They may cost a little more than your average system, but they should pay for themselves over the long run, so make sure you do your research before you decide which one to buy.
If you're ready to invest in a new AC system installation, make sure you choose the right one and talk to a professional first.