If you are still struggling to keep your family cool during those hot summer months with window-mounted air conditioners or even floor fans or a swamp cooler, now is a great time to invest in a new system. Most experts agree that a central air system is the most effective way to go. But how do you know where to start? Here are some helpful tips for choosing your new air conditioner.
--First, do a little homework and get acquainted with what's out there. You'll especially want to familiarize yourself with this term: SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and it is the standard by which all air conditioners are ranked for energy-efficiency. The number assigned to an appliance will show its level of cooling efficiency in relation to the amount of energy used and can be anywhere from 13 to 17 or even higher. The higher the number, the more energy-efficient the appliance. The SEER rating will be prominently displayed on an air conditioner's tag. You'll pay more for a high SEER rating, but remember you'll save more in monthly cooling bills over the life of the unit.
--You also need to get the right size unit. If the air conditioner you get is too small it won't cool your house properly and will run too often: thus diminishing its life expectancy. If the unit is too big it will constantly turn on and off and this will reduce its energy efficiency. The best way to ensure you select the right size is to have a trusted technician perform an energy-usage analysis of your home. If your home is sealed properly you may be able to get a smaller unit than you thought.
--If you purchase an Energy Star rated air conditioner during the designated time period, you can be eligible for up to 1500 dollars in federal tax credits. Many local gas and power companies also provide breaks for customers who make the switch to a high-efficiency cooler. Make sure you check out all benefits you may be eligible for!
Your family's comfort is too important to leave to chance. Make sure you work with a cooling contractor who can help you get exactly the right product to meet your needs at a price you can afford. By choosing a high-efficiency air conditioner, you can expect to pay 20 percent less in your monthly utility bills if you are currently using a low efficiency model. Your family will be cool, but the savings are definitely hot!