As the heat of the summer beats down upon your home, you’re likely dreaming of the perfect, cool space to relax. If you don’t have an air conditioning unit or you need a new one installed, there’s no better season to bring one into your abode. However, there are some important factors that you should consider before installing domestic air conditioning in your house.
1. AC Installation Cost
Having a professional come to install a central air system can be costly. While it’s a price worth paying for the sake of comfort, you should be prepared to spend an average of $5,000. Some homeowners pay more, depending on the amount of space that needs to be kept cool.
One helpful tip that has saved consumers money is only cooling areas that are thoroughly trafficked. The Portable Air Conditioner market is growing every year, and venting techniques are improving as well. If you live in a temperate climate, this option is not only efficient, but it can be a cost effective option as well.
If the ductwork in your house is not installed to carry cool air throughout the structure, you may need to address this before bringing in and air conditioner. Duct seams and joints have to be properly sealed. Any licensed professional can review your current ducting an advise you on a plan moving forward.
3. Equipment size
The square footage of your house will be a determining factor when choosing an air conditioner for your living space. An air conditioning contractor will be able to determine which models will work best for your home with software from the Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association. Manual J software can calculate residential load and ensure that the air conditioner is up to your local building codes. Air Conditioning Units are rated in BTUs, or “British Thermal Units.” While the term BTU may not be the most user-friendly, the measurement refers to the amount of heat an air conditioning unit can remove from a designated amount of square footage. This chart should help with the conversion:
Before you have an air conditioning unit installed, you need to find a shady area for the condenser. Condensers placed in overly lit areas can overheat, inducing costly damage in the process. Additionally, it needs to be in a location where its airflow will not be blocked. This will ensure maximum efficiency whenever it’s in use.
Photo by National Institute of Standards and Technology, via Wikimedia Commons (public domain)
5. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
You may not have heard of a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio before, but it’s essential to understand what it is before purchasing an air conditioning unit. The ratio is based on how much cooling the system puts out for each unit of energy it consumes. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the equipment.
As of January 2006, the government mandates new air conditioning units must have a ratio of at least 13. It is possible to find models with a rating as high as 23.
You have the option of equipping your domentic air conditioning unit with add-ons to do more for you. For example, you may want to upgrade your unit with a heat pump, which allows it to work as an air conditioner and as a heater. Before you have your system installed, think about add-ons that you may want to purchase. This can ensure that everything is put into place at the same time.
Installing a new air conditioning unit can not only provide more comfort indoors but add value to your home as well. By doing your research and considering these six factors, you can make a wise investment in your home and improve your comfort level during the sweltering summer months.