Choosing an air conditioner: It seems like an easy task. If you are in the midst of summer and struggling through high temperatures with no air conditioner, you probably want to get any air conditioner that will cool your home as soon as possible. However, there are plenty of factors to consider before you can make your decision so you do not end up making repairs. You might regret buying the first air conditioner, you see.
How Do You Choose the Right Air Conditioner For You?
If you want to make the right choice for you and your home, you’ll need to determine a few things. You’ll need to make some decisions on a few other things. You need to know how big your home is. This will help you in the next step, which is to determine what type of air conditioner you need and perhaps how many units you need. Finally, you need to know your budget, keeping in mind that paying a higher initial price could end up saving you money in the long run.
3 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Air Conditioner For You
Here are the three most important things to consider when choosing your air conditioning unit:
How Big Is Your Home?
Generally speaking, the larger your home, the higher the number of BTUs needed to keep your home cool. A less powerful unit may not sufficiently cool a larger home. However, the opposite can also be true: A unit that is too powerful may be a problem in a smaller home. It will consume more energy than a smaller unit would, which will make your energy bills higher than they need to be. Counterintuitively, it could also increase the humidity in your home. Air conditioning units regulate humidity. However, an oversized unit may shut off after sufficiently cooling your home. This means it will not complete its cycle, so it will not bring your home to the appropriate humidity level.
To determine the right amount of power for your home, it is best to consult the help of a professional. You may not want to wait to get your air conditioner, but it will save you money and increase your comfort level significantly in the long run.
What Kind of Air Conditioner Do You Need/Want?
There are several types of air conditioning units. On the cheaper (and smaller) end, there are window air conditioners and portable air conditioners. These are less expensive, and you can install them yourself. These are also good options for people with less space in their homes. A window unit takes up very little space since it goes in your window. However, it will partially block your view of the outside world. A portable unit will take up a little bit of precious space, but it is effortless to install and can easily be put away when it is not needed. In both of these cases, you may need multiple units to cool your entire home properly, so the cost and space savings may be minimal or even nonexistent once you have accounted for every room.
Additionally, there are through-the-wall air conditioning units. These are a little bit more expensive than window or portable units, and they require professional installation. However, they take up less space since they go directly on the wall. They also won’t block your window.
One other option is a ductless mini-split air conditioning system. This consists of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit and is a good option for windowless rooms. However, it’s on the more expensive side.
Finally, you may choose to install a central air or HVAC system. This will undoubtedly require professional assistance and cost you more money. However, it will be much more effective at cooling your whole home. An HVAC system will also help keep you comfortable year-round.
Which option you choose should depend on the size of your home and your personal preferences regarding space and willingness to install the unit on your own. Of course, it will also depend on your budget, which brings us to the last factor.
If you don’t know any better, you might only be looking for the lowest price, but that may be a mistake. The cheapest long-term option may come at a higher initial price. Some air conditioners may be inexpensive, but they might break down within a few years. Others might cost more, but they may be much more efficient, saving you on your monthly energy bills.
ENERGY STAR rated air conditioners use less energy than other air conditioners, as certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. Even if you don’t choose an ENERGY STAR air conditioner, you can compare the energy efficiency of different units by looking at the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) or energy efficiency ratio (EER).
Once again, a higher initial price tag may be worth it. More efficient air conditioners save you money on your energy bills. They also don’t have to work as hard, which means they tend to last longer. If you are on a tight budget, you may need to go with a low-cost option. However, if you can afford to spend a bit more for a more energy-efficient and higher-quality unit, you should do so. It will be a better long-term investment.
Choosing the right air conditioner for you and your home is a bit more complicated than it may seem initially. However, keeping in mind these three criteria will serve you well when you are making your decision. Remember to figure out the size of your home, determine the type of air conditioner you want (or the type that will fit in and efficiently cool your home), and keep in mind your budget, along with the potential long-term savings of a more energy-efficient unit. If you are unsure about any of these criteria, enlist the help of a professional. They can examine and measure your home and help you determine the best path forward.