When the temperatures start to rise in Houston, it’s important to have a reliable air conditioning unit in your home. But with so many different options on the market, how do you know which one is right for your home? Here are some considerations for choosing the right AC unit for your home.
Considerations When Buying an Air Conditioner Unit
Type of AC Unit
There are several types of AC units. These include central air, window units, and portable ac units. For the sake of this being Houston, we are mainly going to talk about central air and heating, considering that is what most homes have in the Houston area.
AC Unit Size
The size of the air conditioner is important because it needs to be big enough to cool your entire home but proportional to the area you are trying to cool off. Having the right size is vital for maximizing comfort and energy efficiency in your home.
Cooling capacity is what is used to determine an AC unit’s ability to cool a room or area off over the period of an hour. Cooling capacity is calculated in terms of tons or British Thermal Units per Hour (BTUh). Every 12,000 BTUh equals one ton in cooling capacity. Residential AC units vary anywhere between one and a half and five tons (18k to 60k BTU). The higher the BTU’s the faster an area can be cooled off.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures how much cooling your air conditioner produces for each unit of energy it uses. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the air conditioner. Air conditioners with a SEER of 14 or higher are considered high-efficiency units and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Putting it All Together
First, in order to put these numbers together to know how big an AC unit you need, you need to know the sq. footage of your home. Also, you will want to know the number of people in the home, as well as how much direct sun your home will receive as well as indirect heat sources like electronics. Give these numbers to an ac professional so he can provide an assessment called a load calculation. Then you can take both the SEER rating and cooling capacity numbers, you can compare the numbers to other AC units of the same size for your home (load capacity).
Other AC Unit Considerations
An air conditioning unit is a major investment, so you’ll want to ensure it comes with a good warranty. Choose an air conditioner with a warranty that covers the compressor and other major components. Many manufacturers also offer extended warranties for an additional cost.
Regardless of your chosen AC unit, it’s important to have it serviced regularly to ensure it runs efficiently and doesn’t break down when needed. Be sure to ask your AC contractor about their maintenance plans and how often they recommend having the unit serviced.
Choosing the Right AC Unit
When choosing an air conditioner, there are many things to consider, but taking the time to research will ensure you select the best unit for your needs. Consult a qualified AC installation contractor like us at BE Cool AC and Heating to discuss your options and get professional advice on which unit is right for you. Investing in the wrong air conditioner can be a costly mistake, so getting it right the first time is important.