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The 'C,' 'S' & 'E' of Buying an Air Conditioner

I just stepped outside to eat my morning banana and a light gust of wind hit me.  This was a nice gust of wind, because it was a warm gust with the smell of summer.  Summer is coming, slowly but surely and that means that it is time to start thinking about summer temperatures.  The record high temperature for Detroit is 105 degrees Fahrenheit in 1934.  105 degrees.  That means sweat.  Many use air conditioners to be able to control their “sweatiness” during the summer, or to put it more politely, air conditioning is used to keep indoor spaces more comfortable.  If you have an air conditioner already, I suppose you can stop reading this (why would you want to though?).  BUT if your air conditioner is over 12 years old, you may want to continue on.  This post is for those who are searching for a new air conditioner.

Due to the fact that this purchase is such as “big deal,” I’ve come up with a few factors that you should consider when looking into an air conditioner.

Company

It is important to choose the right heating and cooling company for your new air conditioner and its installation because they are the people who will be with you every step of the way.  Most heating and cooling companies only carry certain brands of air conditioner or furnaces, therefore you may want to look into what brands that the company sells and whether or not those are good makes.  Also, see if you can find reviews about the company you are working with or ask around and see if anybody you know has used them to find out whether or not they are a good, reputable company.  It is good to see how qualified a company’s technicians are. If somebody is installing a large unit inside and outside your home, you want to make sure that they know what they are doing.  You could ask how long a technician has been doing this type of work or you could see what kinds of certifications they hold.  NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is one of the highest certifications an HVAC technician can hold.  Along these lines, it is good to know about all a company’s employees. When buying an air conditioner you will be working with more than just the installer.  You will speak on the phone with somebody to set up an appointment and you will meet with a consultant to decide what kind of air conditioner would be right for you.  When interacting with these employees, see if they are polite and courteous and you can always ask and see whether or not all of the employees are drug tested.

Size

Size is incredibly important when investing in an air conditioner.  They only reason that I’d say that the company is a little more important is because it is the company who will help you discover the correct size and you want to be sure that you are dealing with people you can trust when it comes to the size of your air conditioner.  Why is size so important?  Well, think of Goldilocks, she wasn’t happy until she found something that was “just right” and not too big or small.  An air conditioner that is too big for your home is wasteful, because you do not need to be cooling enough air for a 8 bedroom house, when yours is 4 bedrooms.  If you are a bit frugal, you may be tempted to purchase a smaller air conditioner (lower bills, and my kids don’t need cool air in their bedrooms, right?) but don’t be fooled.  A small air conditioner could actually end up costing you more and wasting energy because it may still try to work to cool down your whole home, but it will have to work much harder and expend more energy than one that is meant for your size of home.

Efficiency

This is the age of green living, organic foods and energy efficiency.  It is time to jump on that band wagon with your air conditioner because not only is it better for the earth, it is also better for you.  You can find the efficiency level of an air conditioner by looking at their SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) number.  A higher number means that it is more efficient.  20 is one of the highest SEER ratings, and the US government now requires that air conditioners be manufactured with a SEER rating of 13 or above.  Unfortunately, oftentimes, the higher the SEER number, the higher the price of the air conditioner.  However, you will save much more money on your utility bills.

I know that during a heat wave, I sure count on my air conditioner and the cool air and comfort that it delivers me.  Even though our grandparents may scoff at us for how much it is used nowadays, it typically is a part of our lives (at least every once in a while) and hence, you should not take the buying of one lightly.  I hope that these tips have helped you and happy hunting!

If you have any questions or want more information about various air conditioners or the process of buying one, feel free to contact or schedule an appointment with Flame Heating, Cooling and Electrical and we will be more than happy to help you.

Some Information found at:

Wikipedia:  The Free Encyclopedia:  Seasonal energy efficiency ratio

Bryant:  Central Air Conditioners

JustWeather.Com

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