If you’re ready for a new home cooling system and it has been a while since you’ve shopped for one, you’re probably in for two surprises. First, you’ll quickly learn that today’s high-efficiency cooling options offer better performance and higher efficiency than ever before – and second, that the price of those performance improvements is a more complicated buying experience.
4 Things You Should Consider Before Upgrading Your Air Conditioning System
To help simplify your choices a bit, here are four key considerations you’ll need to take into account when shopping for a new A/C for your North Fork-area home:
- Size – When it comes to cooling your home, bigger is not always better: an oversized A/C will “cycle” (turn on and off) more than necessary, which will cause unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment. An undersized air conditioner, ironically, will lead to the same problem.
Right-sizing your equipment is crucial to getting the most out of your home cooling system: a properly sized air-conditioner can reduce energy usage by up to 35 percent, according to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.
Simply knowing the size of your home is not enough to estimate the correct size of your cooling system (although many big box stores would like you to believe that). To right-size your A/C, you need to consider the cooling load of your home, which takes into account many factors – the style of your home, the amount of insulation you’ve installed, how much sunlight your house gets, and more (don’t worry, we can help you do that).
- Efficiency – SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a measure of how much total cooling power your system delivers over the course of a cooling season compared to the amount of energy your equipment consumes to produce it (SEER is a lot like MPG for your car – the higher the number, the more efficient your cooling system is).
Most central air conditioning units we sell have SEER ratings between 16 and 20. Higher SEER units cost about 8-10 percent for every 1-point of SEER increase, all other things being equal. It will usually take two or three years to offset the cost of an 18 SEER unit vs. a 14 SEER unit her in Long Island, depending on how often you use it.
Of course, cooling system efficiency is about more than SEER – improper size matching, inadequate insulation, or improper installation can raise your energy consumption dramatically (a big reason why professional installation is an investment that will pay immediate and lasting dividends).
- Central vs. Ductless – Central Air Conditioning systems are great – if you have ductwork in your home. If you don’t, don’t worry – a mini-split system can deliver central A/C-like performance, with the added advantage of enabling precision zone cooling and better air quality. Mini-splits are great for home additions, too.
- Rebates and specials – Manufacturer’s rebates and other incentives on high-efficiency equipment can save you a bundle on a new A/C – sometimes enough to tip the scales in favor of an even better upgrade. Our staff will help you find any rebates or specials for which you may be eligible.
Ready for an A/C upgrade? Let our pros help you make the best choice for your home and budget. Contact Burt’s today for a FREE, no obligation estimate on a high-efficiency cooling system for your home!