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The Complete Guide To Buying An Air Conditioner

Slowly but surely the temperatures in the GTA are creeping into warmer territory. Although most of us are welcoming the heat with open arms, I’m sure there are some homeowners out there who are sweating about whether or not their A/C units will be able to stand up to the summer sun.

If you are one of those people, fear not, today’s article will run you through everything you need to know about purchasing the air conditioner that is the right fit for you, your home and your budget.

Let’s take a look at the 5 things you need to work out before buying that new A/C unit:

  1. What type do you need? When I think air conditioning, I think a central unit but, as with pretty much any product on the market, consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to air conditioning options for their home.

Central A/C:  If you own a home with the appropriate ductwork and infrastructure, it makes sense to maintain a central air conditioning system. Although they come at a high initial and installation cost, they make life very easy in the long-term and new smart thermostats mean you have a great deal of control over the temperatures in the different parts of your home, which helps you to save money over time.

Window A/C: If your home isn’t built for it, or a central system is simply not in the budget, it may make sense to install one or more window air conditioners in the areas of your home you care most about keeping cool.

Portable A/C:  These units offer the same single room cooling capabilities as window air conditioners, but are mobile, which means they come at a greater expense while also offering more flexibility.

Ductless Mini-Split A/C:  An increasingly popular option for homes without ductwork, these units are expensive but may still make more sense than installing the ducts required for central air conditioning.  They offer you exceptional control over the temperature in multiple zones/rooms in your home.

  1. How big do you need it to be? When it comes to A/C units, size really means strength. The larger a unit, the more cooling capacity it has. No matter what type of air conditioning unit you are choosing, selecting the unit of the right size is critical to ensure both optimal cooling and energy efficiency. This will depend on the dimensions of your home or the room you are trying to cool, among other factors. Too large a unit will waste energy, while too small a unit will not be able to sufficiently cool the area.
  2. How long is the warranty? It is important to understand that your new A/C unit won’t last forever and a 10 year warranty is the usual industry minimum. Don’t settle for less on yours.

4.How energy efficient is it?  Most people let product price dictate their purchasing decisions when it comes to home appliances, but this can be deceiving when energy efficiency isn’t taken into consideration. An energy efficient unit may cost more initially, but save you money in the long-term. Seek out a unit that offers efficiency features and strikes a balance between initial cost and energy efficiency rating.

  1. Who will install it? It is always sound practice to get quotes from at least three different installation specialists and seek referrals from those in your social network who have had a positive experience. It goes without saying that you also want an installer with the appropriate licenses and certifications. Don’t be afraid to ask for verifications of their qualifications, as it will save you a lot of time, money and trouble in the long run.

Be sure to go through each and every one of these questions before diving into an A/C purchase this summer.

Remember, the warmer days are right around the corner and there is no time like the present to start planning.

Lead Image Source: Napoleon Heating and Cooling

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