Your home's air conditioning system is likely to greatly impact the overall quality and comfort of the air in your house. Unless you live in a particularly cold part of the country, there's a good chance you run your air conditioner for close to half the year or even longer. In warmer parts of the country, air conditioning is often the most critical part of a home's HVAC system.
Because it's so important, choosing a new air conditioner for your home can be a fairly major decision. Getting the best system for your house will often mean looking at three critical factors: power, efficiency, and indoor air quality. This guide will briefly describe the decisions you can make to maximize these characteristics for your new air conditioning installation.
1. Cooling Power
Cooling power is an often misunderstood aspect of your air conditioner selection. While everyone wants an air conditioner that keeps their home cool, larger systems typically don't provide better cooling. In fact, an oversized system can lead to higher indoor humidity levels and rapid cycling between hot and cold temperatures.
Instead, the best way to maximize the cooling power of your new system is to request a "Manual J" load calculation from your HVAC installer. This calculation will tell you the precise size system you require. Sticking close to this recommendation will ensure that your system provides adequate cooling while keeping humidity levels comfortable.
While you want your air conditioning system to keep you cool, you probably don't want to break the bank in the process. Minimizing operating costs is where efficiency comes into play, and you'll want to look at your new system's SEER value to determine how well it can cool without costing an arm and a leg.
When looking at SEER values, you want to strike a balance between the upfront cost and your long-term savings. Try using an online SEER calculator to estimate how much a higher-efficiency unit can save you over its lifespan. By playing around with these numbers, you should be able to find a good compromise between energy savings and a system that fits within your budget.
3. Indoor Air Quality
Your HVAC system is critical to your home's indoor air quality. Surprisingly, the better insulated your home is, the more you'll rely on your HVAC system to keep air quality high. Fortunately, a new air conditioner can improve indoor air quality in several ways, especially if you have existing air quality problems that you want to solve.
Some potential options include installing an AC system that can support high-quality HEPA filters or adding a UV light cleaner to your evaporator cabinet. These upgrades and add-ons can ensure that your new air conditioner will keep you cool while also keeping the air in your home healthy and fresh.
Contact an HVAC contractor to learn more about air conditioners.