The Importance of Choosing the Right Air Conditioner Unit for Your Home
Want to buy the right air conditioner? Find a good contractor.
Nobody ever wakes up thinking, "Hey! I want to buy a new air conditioner today!" It's never a planned purchase, and it's certainly not like buying a new car, which you research before you make that purchase. You buy a new air conditioning unit when the old one breaks down. Unfortunately, this need to act quickly because your home is getting warm can result in bad decisions and potential overspending.
We recommend this financial rule of thumb when it comes to air conditioner repairs: If the estimate is $500 or more, that should be a wake-up call to you that you might need a new air conditioner.
How Do I Start My Search for a New Air Conditioning Unit?
Some homeowners have unrealistic expectations about the lifespan of their air conditioning units. Most units will only last seven to ten years. That guy in your neighborhood who says his air conditioner is 21 years old is not the norm, and he probably drives a 30-year-old car with all the original parts.
Simply put, when it's time to buy a new air conditioning unit, find a HVAC contractor who will take the time to examine your air conditioner unit, your house, ductwork, and your entire HVAC system. You want this contractor to complete a thorough examination to determine what is happening.
If you ask your doctor for medical advice, he can't answer unless he knows about you. If a contractor is giving you suggestions without knowing your home, he's doing you a disservice, and you probably don't want to work with that person. Instead, ask your friends and neighbors about contractors they've used. Word-of-mouth is always a good bet.
Experience is important
You want to find a knowledgeable contractor. You don't want to be someone's training situation. A good contractor wants to show off his insurance certificate and his license. He paid a lot of money and went through a lot of training to get that license, so he should want you to know about it.
Yet, while it may be tempting to do research on the Internet, don't base your entire opinion on what you read online. Air conditioning units are complex. People spend years working on them. You want to find a good contractor who's "been there and done that" so his years of experience can work for you. You want someone who's willing to come to your house to actually diagnose your situation.
Your choice of contractor makes all the difference
Here are a few key questions you want the contractor to should consider when evaluating your air conditioning unit:
Outside the Home
- Why is the system being replaced?
- Historically has the old unit cooled to your satisfaction on the hottest days?
- What is the designated temperature you want to keep your home at?
- What is the current Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of the system?
- Is the existing system R22 or R410A?
- Are you attempting to obtain the Federal Tax Credit?
- Is your attic insulation to current building code?
- Does anyone in your family experience allergies or sensitivities?
Inside the Home
- Is the ductwork the original ducting from when the home was built?
- Have any additions been made to your home since originally built?
- Have your ducts ever been cleaned?
- Are you experiencing any mold issues or odors like spots on the grills?
- Will a condensate pump be required?
For more information about finding an experienced contractor who can help you find the right air conditioner unit for your home, call us at 1-888-733-1683 or view our cooling protection plans.
Protection from the Unexpected
Direct Energy's Heating and Cooling Essentials plans fill the gap left by your homeowners insurance. Get furnace and air conditioning maintenance and repair coverage you can depend on. Get protected today!Enroll Now