What Features Should I Look For in a New A/C Unit?

If you are looking to purchase a new A/C unit for your home you will have a lot of factors to consider. A/C units come in a wide variety of sizes, style and types, and each type will function differently. Which specific type of A/C unit you choose will depend on the size of your home, what type of unit you want to mount to your home and what your energy requirements are. If you make the wrong choice you could end up with a poorly functioning A/C unit or one that is extremely expensive to operate. Some units also require professional installation and A/C repair technicians to handle any problems, which is something you should consider before you make any purchases. Here are some features you should look for in a new A/C unit.

The Unit’s Size

It is vitally important that you choose the right sized air conditioning unit for the space you are looking to cool. If you get a unit that is too large you will end up paying for energy you don’t need. If your unit is too small you will push the machine too hard, which will cause it wear out faster and to use more energy. It is better to get a properly sized unit now and spend more money upfront than it is to spend money down the road on air conditioning repair. To determine the size of the A/C unit you need you should read the BTU rating. The unit’s BTU rating will determine the size of the area you want to cool. Here is a rundown of BTU’s and the area sizes they respond to per room:

BTU                             Area Size

5000-6000                   250 sq ft

12,000-13,500             500-700 sq ft

These BTU ratings will be higher if your home is in a very hot climate or if it gets a lot of sunlight. Make sure that you choose the proper size of A/C unit for your space.

The Types of A/C Units

The type of A/C unit you choose will depend on the size of the area you want to cool. Very large areas, such as your entire home, should probably warrant the use of a central A/C system. If you own a small apartment or are only interested in cooling one room of your house, you could probably get away with a window unit or portable A/C unit. If you have a large apartment building or a commercial space to cool, then you may choose to purchase a roof top mounted A/C unit.

Types of Refrigerants

The unit’s refrigerant is what will actually cool down the air. The best A/C units use R410A refrigerants. This type of refrigerant is relatively new and is better for the environment. The older and more recognized refrigerant is known as Freon or R-22. This chemical damages the ozone layer and will probably be phased out in the next few years.

Energy Ratings

Air conditioning units use a lot of energy to cool down the air. This means you will have to pay for this energy. Therefore, it makes sense to purchase the most energy efficient A/C unit you can find. Energy efficient units may be more expensive initially, but they will save considerably on your utility bills as the years go by. Look for A/C units that are Energy-Star rated. You can tell if a unit has this rating because it will have an Energy-Star logo from the EPA located on it. Purchasing an energy efficient A/C unit could save you as much as 30% on your energy bills each year.

Choosing the right A/C unit now will help keep you cool and save you money  for years to come.

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