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Not sure where to start when in need of a new AC unit? Read on to learn 3 key factors when choosing a replacement unit.

3 Key Factors to Consider when Choosing a New AC Unit

When it comes time to purchase and install a new AC unit, there are several things to consider during the buying process. AC units come in all shapes, sizes, and brands, making them difficult to compare. And how do you know what the perfect fit is for your house and situation? Considering the following three main factors when choosing a new unit can help you make an informed and wise decision.

AC Unit Size

Sizing for AC units is calculated in “tonnage.” Often when you think of a ton, you imaging weight. In the HVAC world, tonnage determines an air conditioners cooling power. It is similar to engine size in a car. For example, a V-6 engine that is a 4.0L is more powerful than one that is a 2.5L. A 5-ton air conditioner is more powerful or has more cooling power than a 2-ton unit. When considering the size AC unit you need for your house, first determine what you have and how well it is cooling your home. Square footage, the location of the unit and the insulation in your home will also help determine the size you need. When an HVAC company coms out to give you a quote, they should be asking all these questions as well as examining your home, attic, and basement. Be sure to explain any current issues, such as rooms that never really cool or hot zones.

AC Efficiency

In addition to size, considering the efficiency level of an AC unit is essential. All air conditioners sold in the US are marked with an efficiency SEER number. This Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is determined in the factory when the AC unit is manufactured. Current federal regulations require a minimal SEER value of 13 on all newly distributed AC units. The higher the SEER of your new air conditioner the more energy efficient it will be. This should have an effect on your monthly energy bills and can save money in the long run. Considering the total cost of an AC unit and the additional expense of increased SEER value should be weighed against potential monthly savings. Depending on how old your last air conditioner was and how inefficiently it was running, the increase in SEER value could be in the double digits.

Finding the Right AC Installer

In addition to size, efficiency, and brand you also have a choice in who you hire to install your AC unit. Finding an HVAC company that will give you honest answers and recommend the right size for your home is so important. Spending extra money on an AC unit that’s bigger than you need is not something anyone wants to do. The HVAC experts at Westerhouse Heating and Cooling are ready to help you through this process. They understand that buying an AC unit is a big purchase and often done under pressure, meaning a broken AC. They take the time to talk you through your options, help you weigh the best choice for you and install it right. They are there to help you maintain your AC unit and your HVAC system year in and year out. Give Westerhouse a call at (785) 542-2707 today and stay cool all summer long.

20 replies
  1. Dino Violante says:

    We are planning to have a new unit installed in the house because we recently had a home addition, and now I want to know what to consider. It sure got me when you talked about the SEER and that the higher the efficiency ratio, the more I will be able to save on the energy bills. If that is true, then I will consider that since I am sure we need a larger unit because of the home addition. It means higher energy consumption if I am not careful.

  2. Millie Hue says:

    I never knew that the size and insulation of the property are also factors to consider to ensure that the unit that I will buy is the right one. With that in mind, I guess I would have to ask an expert for advice regarding buying a new unit. We just need a new one because we added a room in our house this year.

    • Renee Huepper says:

      Millie, we would love to help you if you are local (in Eudora, De Soto, Johnson County, Lawrence or surrounding areas). Give us a call at 785-542-2707! Thanks

  3. Duncan Lance says:

    I agree, you always want to take efficiency into account when choosing an air conditioner. After all, that will have a pretty large impact on how much money you spend running the machine. Fortunately, most HVAC services are willing to work with you to ensure that you get the most efficient air conditioning unit for your kind of home.

  4. Gary Puntman says:

    I’ve been thinking about getting a new air conditioning system in my home. I definitely want something that is very efficient. It’s good to know that I should look at the SEER value and make sure it is a high number, like you said.

  5. Michael Lee says:

    At work, we have been considering buying a new commercial air conditioning unit. It isn’t cooling the building as it used to so we think that it may be going out. When choosing a new unit I agree that the efficiency level is important. I think that in upgrading the machine, we can get one that will be more energy efficient.

  6. Penelope Smith says:

    I want to get a new HVAC system within the next month. It is good to know that I should think about the size of the unit. It seems like I should talk to an expert about what size will be good for my home.

  7. Yoshiko Flora says:

    I find it helpful that you discussed how a person should choose the right tonnage for the AC unit that they want to put in the house based on the home’s square footage, unit location, and home insulation. With that in mind, I would also like to add that one can ask for advice from a local HVAC contractor before having them install it. Doing this will help a person invest in the right unit that can make a home comfortable during both the warm and cold months of the year.

  8. Steele Honda says:

    Thanks for pointing out that in addition to size, considering the efficiency level of an AC unit is essential. My husband and I are looking for an air conditioning replacement right now since our other one stopped working. I think that having a more efficient one would make sure that our energy bill was lower and that it would last longer.

  9. Erika Brady says:

    I’m glad that you mention choosing the right installation contract to hire so you can trust them to help you find the right size of unit for your home. When choosing one, it would probably be a good idea to figure out the type of air conditioner you want, such as a reverse cycle or evaporative one. Knowing the type could help you find a local contractor that is experienced with installing them so they can help you figure out the right brand and model for your home or business.

  10. Daphne Gilpin says:

    Thanks for explaining that in the world of AC, tonnage refers to cooling power and not weight. My husband and I are having a custom home built, so I want to make sure we choose the right AC unit to cool it. I’m glad I read your article because I feel more educated and prepared to talk to AC professionals about our options.

  11. Rosie Beckett says:

    I need to get a new air conditioning unit and I did not realize there are so many factors to consider, so I am glad that I found this article. It is interesting that you say to think about the right unit size as well as energy efficiency. I think it would be a good idea for me to find an HVAC contractor who will know what system will save me money and be durable over the years.

  12. Bob says:

    I love your tip about considering the SEER level of the AC. My AC is barely blowing any air and my house is super hot. I’ll have to consider hiring someone to come and make sure that the filters are clean.

  13. Vivian Black says:

    You made a great point about looking for an AC unit that is efficient. My family and I are moving to Kingman, AZ and are looking for a good AC unit since Arizona is known to be warm. These tips will be useful in our search for a service professional.

  14. Eileen Benson says:

    Thanks for explaining that in the world of HVAC, “tonnage” refers to cooling power and not weight. My husband and I want to have a new AC system installed before next summer so we can save money on cooling costs. The info you shared here should help us make good decisions when shopping for a new unit to have installed!

  15. Taylor Anderson says:

    I like how you mentioned to find an AC unit with a good SEER number. One of my friends needs to get a new AC unit. These tips could really help her get a new AC unit, so thanks for sharing them.

  16. Mike Sanders says:

    It’s good to know that tonnage determines your air conditioners cooling power. My sister has been telling me about how she wants to make sure that her home stays cool in the coming weeks. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for professionals who can help her with this.

  17. Zachary Tomlinson says:

    My mom has been planning on purchasing a new air conditioner for our home but she’s clueless on how to pick one. What you said about how she should also consider the efficiency level of an AC unit is something I have not thought about. It’s so convenient that you’d just need to look at the SEER number now to figure out the efficiency of a unit. I should share this with her so she’s aware of how to pick an AC unit.

  18. Ron Booker says:

    You made a good point about considering the size and efficiency of the unit with a SEER number when purchasing one. My sister-in-law wants to replace her old HVAC system because it has been causing her a lot of problems and is also raising up her electric bill. We will pass her the details so she can hire a contractor and get the right size unit for her home.

  19. Joseph says:

    Thanks for your sharing key factors i would like to add AC unit is a key to get the right-sized unit when buying a room air conditioner.

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