Even if your air conditioner is working fine now, it might soon be time to buy a new one if yours is reaching the end of its life. Rather than wait until your current unit is wholly inoperable before looking into purchasing a new one, start looking at new models now to give yourself plenty of time to make the right choice and get the best price. In addition to using these tips, you can also turn to a Philadelphia-area air conditioning service for further tips and insight.
Buy the Right Sized Unit for Your Home
One of the first things you should focus on when buying a new air conditioner is its overall size. Buy a unit that’s too big and you’ll likely spend more than necessary on your cooling bills. Buy one that’s too small and you run the risk of overworking your unit to cool a home the unit’s incapable of comfortably cooling, which is likely to wear it out faster. Talk with an HVAC expert to figure out the best-sized unit for your home. While you can always use your current unit as a guide, there’s a chance the air conditioner you have now is either too big or too small.
Focus on Energy Efficiency
Depending on how old your current unit is, it’s possible there are air conditioners with much more advanced technology which is more energy efficient. Do yourself a favor and opt for a new unit that’s built to be as energy efficient as possible. Be sure to take note of the new unit’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) as you’re browsing. Usually, you’ll want to stick to a SEER of no more than 14.
Gather Several Bids
Besides a new air conditioner, you’ll also need to have someone to install your new unit. It’s best to gather at least three bids from local companies to give yourself a balanced idea of how much professional installation truly costs. As you look over bids, be sure you take note of unit brands available, warranties you’ll receive for labor as well as the unit itself and if a maintenance plan is included in the bid. Contractors should be sure to give your home a thorough examination before offering a bid.
Consider Different Types of Air Conditioners
Along with advanced air conditioner technology, there are also different types of air conditioners. If your home doesn’t have ductwork, or if you simply want a less expensive way to stay cool while you save up for a traditional central air conditioner, a ductless unit could make for a great investment. Ductless air conditioners cool a single room or several rooms, depending on its size as well as the size of the rooms. Look into your options and compare them with your specific needs.
Check for Rebates
As you’re comparing prices of new air conditioners within your budget, be sure you check to see whether the unit comes with a rebate. Usually, units that are more efficient have rebates, but be sure to ask even if you don’t see a rebate offer.
Think About Future Maintenance Costs
Your new unit will inevitably need maintenance, so you might as well go ahead and plan for it before that time comes. Ask about maintenance contracts as you’re shopping around for the right contractor to install your new unit. While contracts will likely add to the cost of your installation, they can save you some money in the long run, something your future self is sure to thank you for. Specifically, the maintenance contract should include annual checkups and tune-ups, parts and service and maybe even emergency services. Know that the more services a contract includes, the more expensive it will be.
One thing to bear in mind with service contracts is that any issues you have with your unit might be covered by the warranty, which means you may want to ask about putting off a contract until after your unit’s warranty is up. That being said, you might need to have your unit regularly maintained for the warranty to remain active.
By getting an early start and shopping smart for your new air conditioning unit, you can save yourself a great deal of money and frustration. Take your time, and ask plenty of questions to find the best selection.