Investing in a new air conditioning system can be a major investment, as these units aren't exactly inexpensive. Yet, they are essential to many homes' comfort levels, and they can also lower energy use, which ultimately saves owners money.
At the same time, an improperly installed AC isn't likely to do much good in these areas. Rather, poor installation can actually increase energy costs, and it may not function correctly. Here are four tips for success when choosing an AC unit and having a new one correctly installed.
Tip #1: Choose a Qualified HVAC Professional
Air conditioning installation is not a job for a do-it-yourselfer. Having proper tools and experience is the only way to ensure that the installation is successful and done properly. There are many things that need to be checked before use including accurate refrigerant levels, proper pressure and voltage, and that the unit is securely mounted. Owners can end up spending additional money to call a technician to fix installation errors, which is likely to cost more than calling a professional the first time. Be sure to do some research, and ask to see the service provider's certification and insurance before entering into an agreement with an HVAC professional.
Tip #2: Get Informed About Energy Efficiency Terminology
There are two things to check for in an air conditioning system for maximum efficiency. SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) which should be as close to 20 as you can afford. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, which ensures that your AC is efficient without sacrificing performance. Your technician can help you choose an appropriate model.
Tip #3: Keep Your AC Tech Informed
Your technician should come out and measure your home and ask about your comfort level preferences. If the system is undersized it may not keep interiors as cool as want, while an oversized system may wear out more quickly and increase utility expenses.
Tip #4: Set Up a Maintenance Schedule
To keep the system functioning properly and efficiently working longer, plan on having bi-annual maintenance and tune-ups once before summer and again before winter if the system is heated by a furnace. This helps keep the air flowing at desired temps and extends its lifespan.
Be Smart and Informed
When investing in a new component for heating and cooling devices, it's best to consult with an air conditioning installation professional. They can assist with choosing, installing, and maintaining your equipment.