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AC system: how to choose one

Having trouble selecting an AC system for your home? Read on to get the advice you need.

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AC system vent by jeffk on Flickr.If you live in an area of the country that experiences hot summers, you're undoubtedly already thinking about how you can cool off as soon as the temperatures start rising. An AC system is the perfect solution to fight the heat and create a comfortable environment in your home during the summer. 


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AC basics

Home air-conditioning systems range from portable units that fit in a window to large central AC systems that can cool a whole house while using a minimal amount of energy. Some units can both heat and cool the home, like a heat pump. Certain types of air conditioners use gas, while others are electricity powered. 

The first step in choosing the perfect AC system for your home is to determine the type of system and the size you need to cool your entire home. Seek estimates from professional contractors in your area. They will come out and review your home. They will advise you on the right size unit for your home and needs.

You can choose an air conditioner only, or you can opt for an all-in-one air conditioner and heater. Each type of unit has its pros and cons and is a better fit for certain climates.

Make sure the unit you are considering has a high seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating. Choose a model that states it is high efficiency if you don't want it to drastically affect your energy bills.

AC prices

The next thing to consider is AC system prices, which usually depend on the unit's size and power. However, a more expensive unit doesn't always mean superior quality,

An HVAC contractor can provide you with detailed information about different types of AC units that specialize in home cooling. This professional will help you understand each air conditioner's price and warranty, details on how the installation process works, the time it will take to install an air conditioner, and more.

Related, if you choose an energy-efficient unit, you can get federal tax credit up to $300.


Make sure the contractor you hire is properly licensed and insured before you agree on a start date for the installation of your new central air conditioning unit. Keep the communication lines open, and check on the progress of the installation to make sure the workers are staying on schedule.

Make sure the details match the estimate you were provided, all the proper permits were pulled, and codes are being followed. The contractor you hire should get the permits for you.

Once the installation is complete, have the contractor show you how to operate your new AC system.

If you have any questions about a specific AC system or would like to find a HVAC contractor in your area to discuss your options, connect with experienced contractors now.

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Photo credit: jeffk via Compfight CC.