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Factors to Review When Buying an A/C in Louisville, KY

AC Buying Factors

Air conditioning is a necessity in any room or home, especially in the warmer weather months when you need respite from the heat outside. So many choices exist to cool your home, including portable air conditioners, window air conditioner units, central air conditioning units, and heat pump systems.

Buying an air conditioner is a big decision and investment in cooling comfort. There are many factors that go into the decision, including your budget, the size of your home, and even new air conditioner types. It is important to consider the energy efficiency, energy consumption, cooling capacity, cost, air quality, and service life of any new AC unit.

Luckily, Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling knows how to help you find the best AC central air conditioner, heat pump system, or ductless HVAC system for your household. We are a Louisville HVAC contractor that provides expert air conditioning advice, along with quality installation services. Whether you’re thinking about a window unit, ductless HVAC unit, heat pump, or central air conditioner, it’s important to examine your choices based on various different factors. Read on to see what you need to scrutinize before you pick a new AC system.

What to Think About When Buying an Air Conditioner

As the temperature outside rises and hot air infiltrates your room, you may be thinking about ways to keep your home cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. There are a variety of air conditioning options available on the market, from window units to central air conditioners to heat pump systems. You may even want to consider a ductless air conditioner or heat pump.

Professional home service companies that specialize in the installation of air conditioners and HVAC systems can help you choose the best option for your home, based on a number of important factors. Here is what you need to look at when making your decision.

Air Conditioning Unit Types

When you are in the market for an air conditioning system, you will need to take into account which type of air conditioner will be the best fit for your needs. Room air conditioners, such as window units and portable ACs, are great for cooling individual areas like a single room. A ductless AC system can be used to cool one room or multiple rooms in your home. Central air conditioners and heat pumps are HVAC systems that can provide cooling throughout the entire home.

Once you have considered the various types of air conditioners, take some time to think about the size of the space that needs to be cooled. This will help you narrow down your options and choose the best AC air conditioning system for your home.

The simplest way to control your air conditioner is by using remote controls. This allows you to adjust settings easily and conveniently. Other models also come with additional features, such as a timer function. Heat pumps and central air units use a central thermostat, but smart thermostats and Wi-Fi thermostats can be used much like the remote controls available on window units, portable models, and ductless system air handlers.

Air Conditioning System Capacity

The capacity of an air conditioner to cool a room or home is determined by its cooling capacity. The BTU rating  measures how much heat the system can remove from a space, expressed in British thermal units (BTUs).

Air conditioners don’t actually make the air cool by infusing the air with cooling; they work by removing heat from the hot air with refrigerant and the evaporator coil, which lowers the air temperature. When choosing an AC unit, keep in mind how much heat needs to be removed in order to properly cool your space.

You want your air conditioner to be the perfect size for the space you’re cooling. If it’s too small, it won’t be effective and will cost more to operate. If it’s too large, it will cool the space too quickly and break down more often.

The best way to ensure you get the perfect size air conditioner is to have a professional contractor do a Manual J calculation. This is the industry-standard way of determining how much heat needs to be removed from a space and thus the proper size of air conditioner for that space.

Efficiency Rating

Efficiency is another important factor to consider when buying an air conditioner. Efficiency refers to how much electricity an AC uses compared to its output—specifically, it measures how many BTUs (British thermal units) of heat it removes from each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity consumed. This can help save you money on your electric bill over time because less electricity means less cost!

Air conditioners are measured by their energy efficiency rating (EER) and seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). EER is used for room air conditioners, while a SEER rating is used for central air systems such as air conditioners, heat pumps, and ductless HVAC systems. These ratings indicate how much power the unit will use and how much cooling power it provides per unit of energy used. The higher these numbers are, the more efficient your air conditioner will be at cooling your home.

Higher efficiency ratings mean that the unit has lower energy usage to achieve the same cooling effect as an air conditioning unit with a lower rating, which can lead to significant savings on your energy bill. Additionally, less energy use means a smaller carbon footprint and a reduced impact on the environment. When shopping for an air conditioner, be sure to look for models with high SEER or EER ratings.

There is a big range in the efficiency of central air units, with high efficiency models having SEER ratings of 20 to 26. High efficiency heat pump systems are slightly less efficient, with SEER ratings between 20 and 23. If you don’t need air ducts, mini split AC systems can be very efficient, with high efficiency SEER ratings of 30 or more. Window units and portable AC models can have quite good efficiency, with EER ratings ranging from 6 to 16.

As of 2023, the U.S. government is changing the minimum SEER for air conditioners and heat pumps. In Kentucky, air conditioners now have a minimum SEER of 13, while heat pumps have a minimum SEER of 14. Next year, these new minimum SEER ratings will be 14 SEER for central air conditioners and 15 SEER for a heat pump system. A new efficiency rating of SEER2 will show an air conditioner’s efficiency under new efficiency testing methods.

Indoor Air Quality

It’s important to not forget about indoor air quality when shopping for an air conditioner unit! Many new air conditioners come with features like dehumidifiers and enhanced air filters that can help improve the quality of your home’s air. These features can be beneficial if you’re concerned about high humidity or allergens in your indoor air supply.

You may end up saving money in the long run if you purchase an AC unit that comes with these features rather than having to buy them separately. Some air conditioners include these things standard, while other models require additional equipment to be purchased and installed if you want these benefits in your home.

Lifespan

Air conditioners don’t have exact expiration dates. On average, you can expect them to last about this long:

  • Central air: 15 to 20 years
  • Heat pumps: 10 to 15 years
  • Ductless air conditioners: 20 years
  • Window units: 8 to 10 years

The lifespan of an air conditioner depends on how often it is used, how well it is maintained, and how well it is installed. Always hire a licensed contractor for the installation of any central air conditioner, heat pump, or ductless cooling system to protect the unit’s integrity. In addition, your HVAC professional can also perform annual maintenance services to help prolong the life of your central air unit.

Installation Cost

Some people see that window and portable room units have a much cheaper price tag than central air systems, but they don’t realize that the costs of installing new cooling systems are often much higher than the cost of the actual equipment itself. This is because of the labor costs involved in installing a new system and anything else needed to help the system work properly in the home, as well as the cost of removing and disposing of an existing unit.

When it comes to deciding which type of cooling system to get for your home, you should consider all factors before making a decision. The initial cost may be lower for some types of units, but you also have to take into account the costs of installation and any other necessary supplies or services.

When it comes time to replace your air conditioning unit, you’ll want to make sure you have a good idea of what your installation costs will be. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the important factors that affect the price:

  • Cooling capacity
  • SEER rating or EER rating
  • The need to install or replace air ducts

Shop for Air Conditioning Units with the Pros

From window air conditioners to heat pumps and central air conditioner equipment, Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling knows all there is to know! When you need a new air conditioning system, don’t make the decision on a whim – shop with the pros! Our team will be happy to help you pinpoint the right new air conditioning unit and provide a quote for the installation cost. Contact us today to get started!

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