With summer around the corner, your home will soon experience higher temperatures. The thought of having to install a new air conditioner is the last thing you want in your mind. But you cannot overlook or downplay the fact that you will need to stay cool. So, how will you know which air conditioner to buy? You will have to consider its energy efficiency, if your tenancy agreement allows a window unit, among other issues.
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But you need not worry much about getting it right because we have done the homework for you so that it is easier for you to know what to get.
The goal is to strike a balance between comfort and saving. You should pick a unit that will fit your space and manage to ensure that you enjoy the comforts of your indoors during the hot summer days while keeping your electricity bill as a minimum. What you get should be powerful enough to get the job done. It should not be too powerful because it might work too quickly, especially in a small room. Furthermore, if it is too powerful, it will shut off before getting read of all the humidity, thus leaving the indoors feeling cool but clammy. With a unit working in such a manner, it will get stressed and have a short life span.
If you consider what we have discussed above, it all points to energy efficiency. For this, you must check the AC’s EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). The EER signifies how the system will perform when cooling your home when the outside temperatures are 95 degrees. If the AC has an Energy Star label, then its efficiency levels surpass the government required standards.
However, keep in mind that spending money on the most efficient air conditioner will mean little if your home is not adequately insulated and sealed.
All that notwithstanding, below are some guidelines that will help you get the right AC for your home.
CENTRAL AIR SYSTEM
According to the United States, Energy Information Administration, the central air conditioning system is the most common in the country, with more than 75% of American households making it their preferred choice. The number is around 40% in Canada.
New York City is not at the top of the list of cities with buildings that have the central air conditioning systems installed. Many of the structures in NYC are older compared to what stands in many major cities in the country. Records from the Department of Buildings show that nearly three-quarters of New York City’s builds were constructed before 1960, which is before central air conditioning became a household need.
Updating the older apartment to make they central air conditioning ready involves installing a condenser on the outside of the building, a fan and coil unit inside and ducts running through the building or home to distribute the cooled air. The remodeling is not cheap, and it involves the need for creating more space, which is something that NY apartments do not have in spades.
You could be willing to convert your close into an area for the central air system, but you might not be allowed to put a condenser on the roof of your building. Moreover, retrofitting the apartment without doing the ducts can be ridiculously expensive. For instance, if the updates will not include running the ductwork through your neighbor’s kitchen ceiling to your compressor, then install a complete system in your home will cost anywhere between $2,650 and $15,000; this is according to data from TrustedPros.ca, a website that monitors home improvement costs.
Many central air systems do not offer room-by-room control. That means to run the AC when you are in the living room or the bedroom; the systems will also be cooling the rest of the house. But on the flip side, with the ductwork and the built-in mechanical components all hidden from sight in the floors, walls, or attic, the central air conditioning system is the most discreet option.
If the central air conditioner is the ideal fit for your home, then check out the buying guide from Consumer Report. It gives you information based on brands and the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of the unit. The SEER is the rating of how the system performs when used during an entire season. With the EER or the SEER, the best units have a higher rating.
You should consider hiring a seasoned installer that will have a thought-out plan for the installation of the ductwork and ensure it is insulated. Also, ask the AC guy if he will do seasonal visits to do maintenance checks and repairs like changing the filter and cleaning the coils, among other things that will ensure your AC works efficiently in and out of season.
DUCTLESS MINI-SPLIT AC
The ductless mini-split system might be an ideal option if the central air is not for you. It can be installed on a wall, and you operate it with a remote. The ductless mini-split also requires an outdoor compressor, but it is not that bulky since there is no ductwork involved. The indoor and outdoor units are linked together by a tubing, though with a refrigerant is circulated.
The ductless mini-split air conditioner might not as discreet as the central air conditioning system, but it is the more efficient of the two since you can control each unit separately. Moreover, you can use the system for indoor heating. According to TrustedPros.ca, to outfit a 2,000 sq. Ft home will cost anywhere between $1,800 and $7,000. The prices go higher with the more wall units needed.
Window units offer the inexpensive and easy to install option if you want an affordable and reliable air conditioning system in your home. They are among the most common choices in many apartment buildings. According to Lowe’s, costs start from around $129 for a small-sized unit that can service 150 sq. Ft, and $599 for a larger that can serve a 1,600 sq. Ft.
Measure the room you want to cool and determine the overall square footage that will inform you of the size of the unit you need. Visit Energystar.gov to find the recommended cooling capacity for your room size based on BTU (British thermal units).
Let your choice also be informed by factors like how the room is used and sun exposure. If your place is heavily shaded, then you need to reduce the capacity by 10%, according to the Energy Star chart. If the spaces have more than two people regularly, then you should add 600 BTUs for every person. As for the kitchen, you should up the capacity by 4,000 BTUs.
Bottom-Line: For you to enjoy having an efficient Air Conditioning system that will serve you for an extended period, then consider hiring an experienced AC installation technician to set up your new AC.