When it comes to glamorous topics air conditioning might not rank very high, but it can make the difference between an enjoyable summer and a miserable one.
Air conditioning is something that not a lot of people put thought into as long as they have it. However, when selecting the right AC for your home there are a number of different options to consider.
Each one will affect how well your house is cooled, at what cost, and to what degree of ease.
By focusing on your individual needs for energy output and efficiency, as well as keeping in mind your space and lifestyle, you can accurately select the right air conditioning setup. Need a little help finding the most natural fit for your space? Here are some of the major factors to consider when choosing the right AC for your home.
Size and Output
In the world of air conditioning, literal size doesn’t always indicate bigger or smaller.
Though the physical dimensions of your chosen AC unit will vary depending on the size of your residential dwelling, the output and capacity of your AC will often be the real indicator of the correct fit. Some of the telltale signs that your air conditioner is too small can be inadequate cooling power, higher energy costs, and shorter equipment lifespan.
Conversely, if your AC unit is too large you will experience increased temperature swings, high humidity levels, and more frequent equipment issues.
To get a feel for what size unit would be best in your space, you should not only look at the square footage of your home, but also its age, insulation, construction materials, natural light allowance, and airflow.
Air Conditioner Type
The world of heating and cooling has grown exponentially in the last few years, and there are a multitude of different air conditioning makes and models to best suit individual needs.
That being said, there are two main types of AC units: those that rely on ductwork, and ductless models.
Most newer houses are built with vents and ducts to support central air conditioning.
Central models require more physical space and are more costly, but they will be the most effective for cooling large spaces and are often the most energy-efficient.
Of the AC systems that require ductwork, there are three main types: single-stage, dual-stage, and variable speed condenser models.
Simply put, the difference between these models is the ability to modify the output. Single-stage condensers will only have an on or off function, while the other two offer multiple cooling modes.
Having more modes will further increase the efficiency of your air conditioner, but is also bought at a premium.
That being said, selecting a discount supplier or installation company can often make the upfront investment worth it in the long run. Consumer-oriented company ACDirect can attest to the difference choosing central air systems will make in general efficiency and long-run savings. Providing information as well as technical support, consumer direct businesses will take sales pressures off and can often result in potential buyers snagging the best deal for their budget.
Ductless units are more compact and much cheaper than central air conditioning. Of the ductless models, there are two major players: window units and portable units.
Both are typically used to cool smaller spaces or to cool older houses without built-in ductwork and are generally much more accessible from a price perspective.
If you’ve lived in a rental apartment or shared space you’re probably familiar with both. Typically, if you have adequate space, you might want to consider spending the money on a window unit.
While they are not as sleek or easily moveable, they do pack quite a bit more punch in terms of temperature regulation.
Both types of ductless air conditioning will be less energy efficient than central AC but can be a great alternative for a low budget or a confined space.
If you have the initial cash flow, opting for a more energy-efficient AC system or unit is undoubtedly the way to go.
Not only does having a more energy-efficient system reduce your carbon footprint, but it can also curb future spending. Energy efficiency ratings, often called Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings or SEERs, are displayed on all AC units. However, there is a noticeable range based on the age and design of the unit. Generally, the older the unit, the less efficient.
When shopping around, you should be looking for a SEER of at least 15, with 13 being the lowest you go.
The higher your efficiency rating, the more comfortable your home will be, and the less energy and money you will be wasting.
Lastly, if you have the budget, you might want to consider spending some extra money on modern features for your air conditioning unit.
There is a lot more choice available in the current marketplace, and some features will save you considerable time and money over time.
An under-hyped AC feature is one of the simpler additions- the auto delay switch. If you’re looking to be frugal, this feature will make sure that no cool air is wasted after the machine is switched off.
A more popular feature, for a reason, is the addition of a smart thermostat.
While most thermostats will let you manually change temperatures fairly conveniently, smart thermostats bring a whole host of features to home air conditioning.
From sophisticated programming options to mobile control and prediction features, these thermostats prove their usefulness immediately.
Air conditioning isn’t the most thrilling subject, but it is highly practical. When making choices that will frequently impact your home, the selection process must be dealt with as methodically as possible.
Not everyone can be an AC expert, but there are some basic pieces of information that everyone should know when considering such a large expense.
From sizing to picking the right type of AC system and everything in between, the highlights listed above should help to make an informed decision a little easier.
Set yourself up right by choosing the best AC for your home, and then feel free to focus on the things that make your space and your summers fantastic!