Like most other HVAC products, air conditioners can be long term investments and purchasing one requires careful planning. Here are some helpful tips for when you start shopping for an air conditioner in the Bay Area.
Tips on Finding the Right HVAC System, Proper Installation and Maintenance
Sizing an Air Conditioning Unit
If you choose a unit that is incompatible with your space, your energy costs could be unnecessarily increased. To ensure proper sizing, measure the length and width of your room (or rooms) that the unit intends to cool. You can then enter these figures into an online calculator tool which will determine the correct square footage. Next, consult the U.S. Department of Energy’s website where you will find guidelines to determine the appropriate number of British thermal units (BTUs) for the number of square feet in your home.
Ensuring that your air conditioner is properly installed is crucial to guarantee effectiveness. If you install a central unit, your home may require new duct-work to link the current HVAC system with the new installation. The front end of the unit should be an inch higher than the back end and a new thermostat that is compatible may also be needed.
Positioning the Unit
Incorrectly positioning an air conditioning unit is a common mistake. To ensure optimal efficiency, your system needs to be placed in the correct location. Try installing the product in a place that receives as little sunlight as possible. Plenty of ventilation is important, so shrubs and other plants should be removed if they are blocking the unit’s outer areas.
Be sure to schedule regular system maintenance. It is important for an HVAC professional to check for potential problems with the system, which may help prevent the need for major repairs. During this routine maintenance visit, the unit will be cleaned, the filter replaced, and the refrigerant recharged as needed.
The more efficient your system, the more money will be saved on energy bills and repairs. An important detail to consider is your unit’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). This ratio serves as a measurement of the cooling output divided by the electric energy input. Although it might cost slightly more, units with higher SEERs are typically better and more energy-efficient than units with lower numbers.
Alleviate HVAC and Other Home Issues with a Home Inspection by HomeGuard
Getting the right air conditioner for your home is essential. If you suspect that your HVAC system needs replacing before you sell your home, HomeGuard’s Northern California home inspection team can offer guidance. We can also inspect a prospective home you wish to purchase. For more information, call us today at (855) 331-1900 or send us a message using our online contact form.