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New air conditioning: points to consider

If you are thinking of buying a new air conditioning system, you should consider several important points first, like type, size, brand, pricing and more.

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New air conditioning by Curtis Gregory Perry on Flickr.If you are thinking of buying a new air conditioning system, you should consider several important points first, like type, size, brand, pricing and more.

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One of your first decisions when shopping for new air conditioners will be what type of unit you need. If you want to cool your whole home, then go for a central AC unit. If you rent or need to cool a single room in your home, then a window, portable or mini-split ductless air conditioner is the way to go.

Many consumers make their shopping decisions based solely on air conditioner prices, but you may want to consider some other points before choosing the cheapest option.

One of the most important points to consider when you are looking for new air conditioning is the cooling capacity of the unit. The cooling capacity of air conditioners is measured in BTUs. If you are cooling a small space, like 100 to 150 square feet, you will probably only need a unit with 5,000 BTUs. The larger your space is, the more BTUs, you will need. Your contractor can figure out the necessary BTUs for you.

In addition to considering the size of the space you want to cool, you also need to consider other factors that can impact how warm your room may feel. If the room is particularly sunny or naturally hot, you may need a more powerful air conditioner. Similarly, if a lot of people live in your home or if you do a lot of cooking, you may also need to consider getting a larger unit.

If you decide to buy a window unit, you will need to carefully measure the window to ensure that it will fit, and you will also need to ensure that the unit is within reach of the nearest available power outlet. A window-mounted air conditioner uses a lot more power than most appliances, so you may not be able to plug it into a standard outlet.

To be sure whether or not your electrical wiring can support the current load of a window air conditioning unit, you may need to consult with an electrician or an HVAC professional.

If you decide your new air conditioning needs to be a central air conditioner, you will have to find out if your heating ducts can function as air conditioning ducts. Get an estimate before making a final decision because upgrading or installing new ducting can be expensive. It is important that this is installed properly since poor installation can have a negative impact on the cooling effect of your new air conditioner.

Whether you want central air or a window unit, you also need to think about the brand carefully. Ideally, you should spend some time reading consumer reviews of different brands, so you can make an informed decision. You may also want to consider whether or not a particular brand includes a warranty.

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Once all of the tough decisions have been made, you will finally be able to sit back and enjoy your new air conditioning.

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Photo credit: Curtis Gregory Perry via Compfight CC.