Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What to look for in an air conditioner

During summer, an air conditioning unit can feel like a necessity and not just a luxury. It's important to choose the right air conditioner for your home, to save not only on the initial purchase, but also on electricity bills down the line. 

Onceyou've decided what type of unit you want for your home, you need to determine how big a space you'll be cooling. Measure the space that will be cooled by the unit and ask the sales clerk or technician at the appliance store how powerful a unit you'll need to efficiently cool that space. 

Here’s what to keep in mind when shopping for an air conditioner…. 

1. Type of air conditioner

Thereare several different types of air conditioning units available, each with its own pros and cons. Be sure to choose one that fits your home and your cooling needs. 

Window unit air conditioners are the most common because they're easy to install and remove; they’re more affordable than most units and often feature heating and cooling functions. The downside is that a window is required to install the unit, limiting where you can install it in the house. 

Portable air conditioners can be moved around easily from room to room, requiring no permanent installation. The problem is they're heavy and tend to be less efficient at overall cooling. 

Wall unit air conditioners allow you to install the cooling unit directly into a wall, allowing you to place them anywhere in your home. However, they're considerably more expensive and may require professional installation. 

2. Size and power 

Onceyou've decided what type of unit you want for your home, you need to determine how big a space you'll be cooling. Measure the space that will be cooled by the unit and ask the sales clerk or technician at the appliance store how powerful a unit you'll need to efficiently cool that space. 

Take into account the number of windows and appliances in the room as these could be sources of heat that lead to inefficient air cooling. 

3. Know the SEER rating 

The SEER rating is the Seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which ranges from 13 to 21. The higher the SEER rating of your unit, the more efficient and less costly it will be down the line. 

However, temper that rating with the  cooling your house needs, as higher SEER ratings often mean much higher unit prices. 


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