Buying a new Air Conditioning system is a big decision, that’s why AMS A/C & Heating lays down all the tips and tricks we know below. These Air Conditioning Buying Tips can help you make the right choice, save energy and money.
1. DON’T BE TEMPTED BY COST
Don’t be tempted by the lowest bid or the highest bid. You need to make sure you know what you are getting. Bids could range from $4,000 to $14,000 for a new AC system.
2. DON’T BUY “NO NAME” SYSTEM
Don’t be tempted to buy a no name AC system, just because it has a 10 year warranty. If the compressor goes out, it could still cost you over a $1,000 to replace it.
3. REPLACE WHOLE SYSTEM
If you are replacing an existing air conditioner, you must replace the whole system, including the inside coil and furnace, to achieve the rated efficiency.
4. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING
Make sure the HVAC contractor provides you the system type (straight cool or heat pump), AC system efficiency rating (ask for a copy of the AHRI Certification), system size (tons), rebates and warranties (make sure the labor warranty covers replacing parts).
5. GET AHRI CERTIFICATION
After you get the HVAC contractor’s bid, ask for copy of the AHRI Certification. If the contractor asks you what is an AHRI Certification, don’t use that contractor.
6. REVIEW AHRI CERTIFICATION
You should review the AHRI Certification that the HVAC contractor provided. The certification will show you:
- Efficiency of the System
- Equipment Model Numbers
- System Size (Tons or BTUs)
- System Type (straight cool, heat pump)
Sometimes a contractor will say a AC system is an 18 SEER system (because it is in the Manufacturer’s 18 SEER line), when it is actually rated by AHRI at 16 SEER. You should not use a contractor who tried to mislead you.
7. ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION ANALYSIS
Ask your HVAC contractor to provide an electricity consumption analysis of the options he gave you pricing for. If the contractor cannot provide it in writing and just says you’ll save X%, don’t use that contractor. See AC SEER Ratings for more on AC Electricity Consumption Analysis.
8. BUY A HIGH-EFFICIENCY UNIT
New air conditioners are required by federal law to have a SEER of 14 or higher. Even though it will cost more, it’s usually worth it to buy a new AC unit that exceeds 14 SEER because over time that initial investment will be paid back with energy savings. See AC SEER Ratings for AC Electricity Consumption Analysis.