A WISE BUYING GUIDE TO CENTRAL A/C
Are you considering purchasing or upgrading a new central air conditioning system for your home? Or are you just curious on how to get the most value and quality out of a future system? Well, we are here to help!
According to Consumer Reports, more than 75% of US homes use air conditioning and 90% of new homes are equipped with central air conditioning. In other words, in a world where heating and air conditioning once were considered luxuries, they have quickly become essential necessities in Georgia.
There are several things to consider when looking to replace your air conditioning system:
1) Price Most likely, one of the most important things to you as the consumer, is price. To break price down even further, when you install or replace an old a/c unit, there are two costs: the price of installation, and the price of the unit itself.
The price of the unit and equipment is usually tied to the processes of the company, along with the efficiency and durability of the unit itself. It is recommended that you do research into the brand of equipment that your heating and air conditioning company sells. Different brands offer different qualities and they are mainly based on personal preference.
Sometimes more important than the price of the unit is the price of installation. The price of installation ties greatly to the process of the company’s installation practices and procedures, which are often comprised in lack of knowledge and skill as well as lack in pride of work ethic. In many cases, the technician is fully aware of best practices but doesn’t use them, which is demoralizing to the trade and the customer. It is crucial that you find a company that utilizes the best installation practices and procedures, as this may dictate the life of your system.
2) NATE Certification
NATE certification is also a great factor to consider as it is a barometer of a company’s knowledge and enthusiasm about the trade. NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence and it is actually the nation’s largest non-profit certification, independent organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration technicians and companies. If a company and/or the technician is NATE certified, you can pretty much rest assured, that they have proper knowledge of what they are doing.
3) Unit Size
Another important thing to look for when buying a new system is the unit size. Your home size will determine the type and size of your unit that you get. Too big of a system reduces energy efficiency and too small of a system will prevent you from cooling your home properly. Therefore, a manual J load calculator on all homes should be ran before any unit is installed.
4) SEER Rating
If you are interested in conserving energy, which in return saves you money, you should consider looking at the SEER rating. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency rating. Basically in a nutshell, the higher the SEER rating, the greater the energy efficiency. The minimum requirement for a HVAC unit is 14, and the highest ranking is 25.
5) Duct Work
Lastly, considering the condition of the ductwork in your home is the most critical in conjunction with conserving energy. Your household can lose up to 20 percent or more of cooled and heated air through improperly sealed ductwork. Many homeowners underestimate, and even a lot of heating and air conditioning companies underestimate the importance of properly sealed ductwork.