Look for These Features When Buying a New Air Conditioner

Today’s residential AC systems are convenient and easy to use, especially during the spring and summer months. Not only do they provide premium comfort features, but they’re also more energy-efficient and reliable than they were just a few years ago! If you think that it’s time to replace your old air conditioning unit, you need to know which model best meets your preferences.

As you look for a replacement unit, you’ll find that many of the models on the market have features such as timers, remote controls, digital displays and other smart innovations that increase comfort and convenience. Depending on the brand you choose, some offer a more precise temperature balance and powerful performance. Some are easier to maintain as well, but with all the HVAC units available today, it can be difficult to choose the one that will best suit your needs.

If you’re indecisive about which HVAC unit to choose, just look for the features that will most benefit you and your family. You should consider how this will affect your home’s energy consumption as well. You can also consult with a professional residential AC contractor such as Above Air Inc., who can help minimize your options.

Important Features to Consider

  • Low-noise operation – Make sure to consider the noise your new air conditioning unit makes, especially if you’re planning to install a unit near your bedroom window or on the patio. Look for the latest air conditioner units that have multi-stage compressors; they operate more quietly compared to those with single-stage compressors. They also have sound blankets and other features that reduce their noise levels during operation.

  • Manufacturer’s warranty – This is usually included with your purchase. Most manufacturers offer either a one- or two-year warranty for parts and labor, which can be useful during routine HVAC repair and maintenance.

  • Proper humidity control – Your new air conditioning system should have features that control humidity levels in your home’s interior. With the right amount of humidity in your home, you can increase overall comfort for you and your family. A unit that has a variable-speed compressor is recommended, as it provides effective humidity control while operating at lower speeds for longer periods of time. They can pull more humidity out of the air compared to models with only a two-stage or single-stage compressor.

  • Energy efficient features – Air conditioners are rated by their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Higher ratings mean more energy efficiency in a unit. One good feature to consider for your new unit is an energy-saving mode that turns off the fan when the thermostat turns off the compressor. Normally, the fan will still run even if the compressor is off, but with this feature, you’ll conserve more energy in the long run.

  • Convenient comfort features – The level of energy efficiency also depends on the model and how well it can pump consistent conditioned air. The most basic model is a single-stage air conditioner that can only be turned on and off for airflow. A two-stage model offers slightly better features such as high- and low-stage cooling, which can provide enhanced comfort levels. Variable-speed air conditioners include premium comfort features such as multiple stages for more precise temperature control and more consistent comfort.

Common Types of Air Conditioners

You’ll also need to consider the size and type of air conditioning system to be installed in your home. There are several models available, but only a few can meet your home’s needs. Consult with an experienced HVAC repair and installation contractor who can help narrow down the options. Some of the most common models available include:

  • Wall-mounted air conditioners. These are mounted permanently by attaching a metal sleeve through the wall and sliding in the AC chassis from inside. These units also come in cooling/heating models. When properly installed, they won’t obstruct sunlight and can boost the visual appeal of a room depending on the design. There’s no storage necessary during the off season, as they’re mounted on the wall permanently.

  • Window-mounted air conditioners. These are some of the most common types of air conditioners available, and can be installed temporarily in a window opening. They also come in cooling/heating models and are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of air conditioners. They work with existing electrical wiring in your home, and when not in use can be put in storage depending on the weather conditions in your area.

  • Portable air conditioners. These are essentially air conditioners on wheels designed for easy transportation from one room to another. They include a tube that exhausts heat out of a window or through an opening in a wall.

Finding the Right Unit For Your Home

To help people select the right size and model for their home, most manufacturers list the cooling capacity of their units either in British Thermal Units (BTUs) or Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity (SACC). BTUs are more established and based on the standards set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Recently, the Department of Energy (DOE) has introduced SACC ratings. This is essentially a BTU/hour rating for a more accurate reading of a unit’s capabilities. This also provides a more weighted average based on how a residential or commercial AC system is used in different conditions, such as during hot or humid weather or on a cloudy day.

When determining which unit to buy based on the size of a room in your home, keep in mind that a typical air conditioner needs around 20 to 25 BTU for each square foot of living space. Buying a unit that’s too strong for one room will only waste energy, while a unit that’s too weak will deteriorate faster while never achieving optimal temperatures. Be sure to consider how many people are typically in the room, whether it’s near a kitchen with heat-generating appliances and even how high the ceilings are.

When looking for a reputable residential and commercial AC technician, make sure to call Above Air Inc. Our numbers are (954) 341-0816 for Broward and (561) 488-0832 for Palm Beach. You can also fill out our convenient contact form to get started!