Air conditioning is a highly complex field. But complex or otherwise, there are right, less-right, and completely wrong ways of doing things, just as in any other field of endeavor.
So, while the purpose of this blog is not to turn you into an HVAC pro, it is designed to help you purchase a new air conditioning system with greater confidence.
For starters, your antenna should be poking through the ceiling if your contractor measures only floor square footage to determine the right size of your system. That’s not nearly enough as all of the following must also be considered:
- Ceiling measurements
- Wall measurements, including windows
- Attic and other insulation
- Indoor and outdoor temperatures
- Number of occupants
- Amount of shade
- The color and type of your roofing tiles
- And more
Next, ask your contractor to include “latent cooling load” in his calculations, which measure both air temperature and humidity. If you need one, a humidity control system built into your AC system can add immeasurably to your family’s comfort while further reducing your monthly utility costs.
Let’s head back to the attic for just a minute, where we’ve already checked on the amount and integrity of your insulation. Well, your ductwork – think if it as the distribution arm of your AC system – also has to be checked for cracks, leaks, and proper sizing. If air is escaping into the attic, for example, the makes your system work harder to reach the desired temperature in your living spaces. And over time, all that added wear and tear will cause your system to fail prematurely.
Next, the higher SEER rating, the better. SEER, which stand for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures how much electricity is needed to power your system. With the right SEER rating, you can look forward to cutting your monthly electricity costs, in-season, by half or more.
You also want the system installed in such a way so that you can easily perform some of the maintenance yourself, especially if you want to maximize your investment and help prevent repair problems. So ask your contractor for ease of access to the filter and coil, even if he has to install an access panel for that purpose.
There are other considerations, but if you’re prepared with just this much when your contractor arrives to take measurements and prepare your quote, you’ll be well on your way to getting absolutely the best possible AC system for your home and budget.
At LBA Air Conditioning, we encourage our customers to take part in the process because when all is said and done, the more you know about your new AC system, the happier you’ll be with the end result. Contact us today for a free in-home system proposal and quote.