Buy a Conventional Central Air Conditioner

Central Air Conditioner Unit Sizing

  • Hire only a licensed contractor who will perform a Manual J calculation to size your unit.
  • Or have the Manual J calculation done yourself, and then hire a reputable contractor to install the system. Perfect-Home-Hvac-Design can provide this Service for you.
  • Stick by the calculation. Don't second-guess the calculation! Do NOT oversize or undersize, or the unit will not perform as designed.

Consider efficiency

  • The higher the SEER and EER ratings, the less it will cost you to operate. This does translate to increased installation costs though.
  • SEER ratings must be a minimum of 13-SEER and can be as high as 22-SEER.
  • Have the unit you are considering looked up in AHRI website for actual SEER and EER ratings.
  • Consult your local utilities for rebate programs for higher SEER units.
  • A higher efficiency unit may qualify for a federal tax credit, as well.

Consider installation cost vs. operating cost

  • Cheap will most likely mean an inferior unit, which will cost more to operate each month, and probably cost more to service and keep running.
  • Stick with the name brand units. They are superior in quality, will cost less to maintain, and parts are readily available if a breakdown should occur.
  • Figure a rough monthly savings for a higher SEER unit. For each 1 point in SEER upgrade, your savings will be approximately 10% in operating costs. Compare that to your initial installation increased costs.

Choose that contractor

  • See our Quality Installation Checklist.
  • Take as many bids as you need to feel confident in your decision.
  • Do NOT let price be your only guiding factor. The trustworthy, skilled contractor is probably not going to be the cheap guy.
  • Immediately weed out the contractors whom tell you that a Manual J calculation is not necessary.
  • Let your contractor impress you with his knowledge of his product, his recommendations should be best for you, the customer, not necessarily best for his pocketbook.
  • Check his references, and his credentials.

Read more about Air Conditioners

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