If A/C replacement is on your horizon this season, these guidelines will help you ensure that you’re getting the best system for your home and your budget. Your new unit, chosen wisely, will serve you for years to come.
A key component of A/C replacement is getting the right size. The system you have now may not be the right size for your home, so make sure you hire an HVAC contractor who uses a tool called Manual J to evaluate your home’s cooling load. The factors that influence sizing include:
- Insulation levels.
- Windows, their size and their energy efficiency.
- Air infiltration levels throughout your home.
- Preferred temperatures.
- Number of home occupants.
- Landscaping factors.
After he completes the Manual J calculation, your contractor will inspect your ductwork for proper sizing, insulation and air leaks. Not addressing ductwork weaknesses will decrease the performance of your A/C replacement, driving up your energy bills and increasing wear on your system.
Another key consideration in A/C replacement is energy efficiency. When you’re evaluating various systems, compare their seasonal energy efficiency ratios. The minimum SEER for today’s air conditioners is 13, which is probably higher than your present system’s. You can find air conditioners with SEER ratings that are much higher than 13, and while they may cost more than units with lower SEER ratings, you’ll see the payback in your energy bills. These features help to keep your home more comfortable and raise SEER ratings.
- Dual-speed compressor. This means your A/C can run at two speeds, based on the cooling needs of your home. During the spring and fall, when you don’t need as much cooling, the compressor will run at low speed. When it’s really hot, the compressor will run on high. Because your compressor will run on low most of the time, you’ll save on your energy bills.
- Variable-speed motor in the air handler. In a standard air conditioner, the motor runs at one speed, and it’s either on or off. A variable-speed motor adjusts itself to your home’s cooling needs, ramping up when you need more and slowing down when you need less. This makes for less wear and tear on your motor and fan, eliminates uncomfortable blasts of air, lessens noise and lowers your operating cost.
To learn more about an A/C replacement, contact Blanton’s Heating & A/C. We’ve provided HVAC services to residents of the Fayetteville area for more than 60 years, and we would like to help you with your home-comfort needs.