Which type of HVAC cooling option is the right system for your home? Before you invest in a new air conditioner, take a look at the do's and don'ts of cooling system selection.
Do Learn More About the Existing Air Conditioner
What type of system is already in your home? Common home air conditioners include window units, ductless mini-split models, and whole-home forced air systems. If your home only has window air conditioners or a mini-split system, it may not have air ducts. This means when you replace the air conditioner, the forced air type isn't the best option. This choice requires air ducts.
While you can add ducts to your home, this type of renovation is often messy and expensive. If you want to upgrade from a window unit to an option that can cool more of your home, consider a ductless mini-split system. As the name implies, this type of air conditioner doesn't require ducts. Instead, it uses individual indoor wall-mounted air handlers and an outdoor compressor. This setup allows you to cool all or part of your home.
Don't Underestimate Energy Efficiency
Now that you know what type of system you may need, it's time to turn your attention to energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average residential central air conditioner uses more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. This results in power plants emitting nearly 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide for one air conditioner in a year.
Along with the overall environmental impact of home AC use, a lower efficiency system can cost you money in unnecessary electric bills. The U.S. The Department of Energy also notes that a new, energy-efficient system can save you between 20 and 40 percent in home energy costs compared to a decade-old AC unit. If you have an older system or just want to save energy and money, look for an air conditioner with a high seasonal energy efficiency ratio (or SEER).
Do Talk to an HVAC Professional
Are you lost in a sea of air conditioning industry jargon? If you aren't sure about the true meaning of terms like SEER, BTU, air handler, and other HVAC vocabulary, you aren't alone. Instead of navigating the in's and out's of AC selection by yourself, talk to a professional. An HVAC contractor has the knowledge and experience to guide you through this process. Contact an HVAC cooling service for more information.