Choosing an central air conditioner (or heat pump) is one of the more important home comfort decisions you’ll make for your Pennsylvania home – one that warrants some careful consideration in light of all the options available to you today (if you don’t have ductwork in your home, your choice is much easier – simply choose a high efficiency ductless cooling system and call it a day!).
Whatever type of home cooling system you choose, there are a handful of factors you will inevitably have to consider. Here are a few of the most important ones.
The most common performance measure you’ll encounter in your search for a home cooling system is SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER measures the amount of cool air your A/C unit produces compared to the amount of energy it uses over the course of a complete heating season. Most of the new central air conditioning models available today have SEER ratings between 16 and 20 (the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit is).
Higher SEER units cost more, with prices increasing by about 10 percent for every 1-point increase in SEER (all other things being equal). In our climate, it will typically take about three years to recoup the added cost of an 18 SEER unit over a 14 SEER unit.
The most important thing to realize about SEER, however, is that it is an incomplete measure of efficiency – factors such as how well your home is insulated, how airtight your ductwork is, how well your equipment was installed, and how well matched your air conditioner is to the cooling load of your home will have at least as much bearing on efficiency as SEER measure alone.
Matching your A/C system to the needs of your space is critical to getting the most for your cooling dollar; buy an air conditioner that’s over- or under-sized and you’ll wear it out prematurely while spending more money to operate it along the way.
Right-sizing isn’t simply based on the volume of your house, as many big-box stores will have you believe: to get an accurate measure of your home’s cooling load, you need to take into account many factors, including the style of your home, the number of windows you have, the amount of insulation you’ve installed, the amount of shade your house is exposed to, and more.
If you want to really nail right-sizing for your home cooling system, it’s best to get a professional air conditioner installation with a reliable supplier who will consider all these variables and more.
Other factors to consider
- Incentives – Many manufacturers and energy providers offer substantial rebates on high-efficiency equipment (there are some great incentives on A/C units being offered right now by Lennox and PPL, for example).
- Brands – Always look for reputable names like Lennox, Mitsubishi, and Trane.
- Warranty – Compare Warrantees offered by the manufacturer (we can help you do that – contact us to learn more).
- Installer expertise – Always choose an installation company with a great track record and experienced, knowledgeable technicians.
Ready for an air conditioning upgrade for your Bucks or Montgomery County home? Now is a great time! Save up to $1700 on a new Lennox Home Comfort System, plus hundreds more on other qualifying systems. Contact us today to learn more!