If your air conditioner is over 10 years old or its had its fair share of repairs in the last couple of years, it may be time to swap it out for a new system. Investing in a new air conditioner will save you money on energy bills and repairs, as well as ensure a lower carbon footprint and a higher level of comfort.
The best time to purchase a new air conditioner is in the fall, when HVAC companies are done with the summer A/C rush and the fall maintenance season is still a few weeks away. Many contractors offer great specials on air conditioners, which are in high supply and low demand in the early autumn.
Here are a few things you should consider before you begin your search for a new air conditioner.
Hire the Right Contractor for the Job
Before you start looking at new systems, you’ll need a contractor to determine what size system you need and to provide information about available tax credits and utility rebates. Hiring a reputable contractor is the most essential aspect of purchasing a new system. An improperly sized or installed air conditioner will cost more to operate, and it will fail sooner than it should.
The contractor you hire should be licensed, bonded, and insured, and they should belong to at least one major trade organization, such as ACCA or Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA.) Technicians should be certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE), which ensures they’re up to date with new technologies and best practices for installation, service and repairs. Ask about the brands they carry, as well as warranties, service contracts, and payment plans they offer. Always feel free to ask for and contact references before committing to a contractor.
Your reputable contractor will use Manual J, the industry’s standard calculation developed by the Air Conditioner Contractors of America (ACCA), to determine the proper size for your new system. The calculation is based on factors like the size of your home, the amount of summertime heat gain, and the level of attic and wall insulation. If your contractor assures you that the size of the system can be determined by a quick inspection of your home, find another contractor. The right size is essential for saving you money on energy bills and repairs, and for ensuring the highest level of comfort.
Efficiency Saves Money
Air conditioners are rated for efficiency using the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER. Older air conditioners have a SEER of around 6, while new systems are required to have a SEER of at least 13. A high efficiency system that is certified by Energy Star can have a SEER as high as 17, and it will typically pay for itself in energy savings over the course of its operating life. In a climate like Georgia, which has a long cooling season, a high-efficiency system will save you a considerable amount of money on cooling costs.
If you’d like more information about purchasing and installing a new air conditioner this fall, please feel free to contact us at Comfort Control, Inc.