I always took my home's heating and cooling system for granted. That is until I found myself battling one of the hottest days in years and my air conditioner simply refused to turn on. After contacting my local HVAC contractor, I learned that my cooling coils had frozen over from a lack of maintenance. He did get my AC back up and running that day, but he also helped me to look at my heating and cooling system in a whole new light. I have spent a lot of time over the last few years learning more about how to properly maintain my HVAC system and ultimately lower my energy costs. Today, I would like to share this knowledge with you so that I can help you to avoid some of the costly mistakes I have made in the past.
A brand new air conditioner will last you at least a decade, so making sure you've got everything you need is a must before making such a valuable investment. Beyond making sure you're getting the right kind of air conditioner, it's a good idea to make sure the rest of your components are in good working order, that you have all the right components, and that you have a good warranty going forward.
Have Your Ducts Inspected
While a new air conditioner will be more energy efficient and offer many improvements over your old model, you won't really feel its effects unless your ducts are also in good shape. If your ducts have gaps or are losing their insulation, your cool air won't stay as cool, and a significant amount of air will escape through the gaps before it ever reaches your rooms. This can keep your energy bills high and even leave you open to additional risks, such as pest infestations.
When you start getting bids and looking at contracts, make sure a duct inspection and repair or replacement is part of your service. It's an additional cost, but if your ducts are a few decades old and haven't been maintained, new or repaired ducts will make a sizable difference.
Explore Buying Options
If you're looking to save some money on your installation, one option is to get your air conditioner from somewhere other than the contractor who's installing it for you. Buying an air conditioner from your contractor may cost a little extra so the contractor can make their cut, and buying wholesale can remove that cost. If you know what you're looking for and find a better place to get the same model, this may be a good option for you.
There are some caveats to this, however. Some contractors may not want to install equipment they haven't sold, so you might have to contact more contractors to see who can do the work. It could also affect your warranty even if it's still professionally installed. Make sure to check the terms of the warranties being offered and see what might cause them to be broken.
Size It Right
Air conditioners come in a variety of sizes, which refer not to the physical size of the unit, but of the size of living space they are designed to cool. The most effective and energy efficient air conditioner will be one that is properly sized for your home. One that's too small may have to run constantly to keep up, and one that's too large will cycle on and off more frequently than it should, which can cause wear and tear damage more quickly.
Calculating the right size of an air conditioning unit can involve the square footage of your home, where you live, and other factors. If you aren't sure what you need, you can use a guide to help you or ask your contractor. Even if you are buying an air conditioner through your contractor rather than wholesale, double check to ensure you are getting the right size installed.
Get the Right Components
Just like an air conditioner is only as effective as a good system of ducts, there are other parts you should consider when finalizing your purchase.
The first are vents, which you may already have, but depending on how old they are and how they were designed, you may benefit from getting new ones. For example, being able to change the position of the fins can help get rid of hot and cold spots in your house, which can be a benefit to energy efficiency, not to mention more comfortable for you.
Another option that's particularly effective for houses where many rooms stay unoccupied is a zoning system. This allows you to set up different zones in your house and control the temperature in each one. Mechanical vents will open and close themselves to keep each zone the right temperature, which can also help you save energy.
Finally, a programmable thermostat, or even a smart thermostat, is a great addition to your new air conditioning system. Some models can connect to WiFi, letting you control your thermostat from your phone. They can also learn your usual heating and cooling habits and create schedules automatically. All of these components combined greatly increase comfort, convenience, and energy efficiency
For more information on air conditioning installation, contact a local HVAC contractor.Share
19 March 2020