Rising summer temperatures may make you consider purchasing a new air conditioner. There are many things to consider before purchasing an air conditioning unit for your home. It is best to determine what type of unit will best suit your needs and what size the unit should be. The size of the unit, where the unit will be placed and efficiency of an air conditioner will ultimately determine its usefulness and performance. Keep in mind that an incorrectly sized unit or one located in a window receiving a lot of sunlight, will cost more to operate and perform at lower standards.
Choosing the Right Air Conditioning Unit for Your Specific Needs
Before selecting an air conditioner, it is important to consider the number of rooms and the size of the rooms in your home. This will determine the type of unit that you need based on your requirements.
Once you have the information about your house and your requirements, you can think about the type of unit that will suit your needs.
Portable Units are for a small space or single room that requires infrequent cooling. These are portable and can be easily moved from one room to another in your home. Wall Units are for small spaces or single rooms but do not offer the convenience of being portable. Split System Units are for larger rooms or multiple rooms within the home that need cooling. Ducted units are best suited for multiple rooms to keep your entire home cool and comfortable.
Types of Air Conditioning Units
Air conditioners can generally be divided into compact systems and distribution systems. Compact systems, also known as room air conditioners, are made to circulate air within confined or (semi-confined) spaces. These Compact Units can be freestanding or installed in windows and walls. They may be formatted for double-hung or slider windows and can be installed easily by the owner.
Window air conditioners are the least expensive units, while through-the-wall models are slightly pricier and are held in place with a metal sleeve. Freestanding portable air conditioners are approximately 2-3 feet tall and are housed in a custom wheeled cabinet that must be located near a window or another means of ventilation. In some models, the condensation collects in a tray and must be emptied periodically.
What Determines the Price Differentials Between Units?
Price differences are determined by features such as precise temperature adjustment, remote controls, controlled temperature options and heating capabilities. It’s a good idea to consider a low noise air conditioning unit for the living room or bedroom, and make sure the unit is installed securely to reduce potential noises such as rattling.
Other Costs to Consider
Many homeowners decide upon an air conditioning unit without inquiring about additional accessories such as air conditioner covers (for winterizing) or air conditioner filters (which usually need to be replaced in whole house systems). Many of the newer air conditioning units have a longer filter life and higher energy star ratings that will help save you money due to those rising energy costs. Choosing the right air conditioner for your needs can make the difference in staying cool and saving money.
It is impossible to predict when you will need a new air conditioner, but by shopping off-season you can save money. Many homeowners opt for lower-priced models if the unit will be used infrequently. Always shop around for the best deals before making a purchase.