6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying an AC System

residential AC outdoor unitsIf you’re in the market to purchase a new air conditioner, you know that it can be overwhelming to make such a large and important decision. When looking for Fort Collins AC installation and repair, be sure to do your research and take your time.

Here are six common mistakes to avoid when buying a new AC system.

Jumping Right into Buying a New Unit

If your air conditioner isn’t working, you may feel like you need to go out and buy a new one right away, especially if the weather is hot. However, don’t jump into buying an entirely new unit, which can be expensive, without having an HVAC professional check your system to see if it can be repaired. A repair can be much less expensive and prolong the life of the unit so that you have more time to save and research before buying a new unit months or years down the road. In older homes, it’s sometimes more cost-efficient to replace a broken unit instead of repairing it. Your broken unit could also be past the point of repair. Either way, it’s helpful to check all of your repair options before going straight to getting a new unit.

Buying the Wrong Size AC Unit

One of the most important features of an air conditioner is its size. Buy a unit that’s too big and you’re paying more than you need to for the actual unit and the cost of running it. Buy a unit that’s too small and it likely won’t be effective in cooling down your home. It could even break down early from running the system too hard. Ask an HVAC company to perform a load calculation, which uses the size of the house, age, and windows to calculate the right sized AC unit.

Focusing Solely on Price

While price is an important factor for most people’s air conditioning decision, it shouldn’t be the only factor. Aim to find a unit that will work well in your home and provide reliable cooling instead of simply buying the cheapest product. An air conditioner adds comfort and value to your home, but installing a sub-par unit just because it’s the least expensive likely won’t go over well with potential homebuyers in the future and could break down at a bad time.

Consider other things like the warranty, quality, and type of unit. Many air conditioners also come with rebates, which can lower the cost and allow you to potentially install a higher-quality system at a bargain.

Ignoring Energy Efficiency

The majority of a home’s energy goes to heating and cooling the house. Investing in an energy-efficient AC system can make a big difference in lowering energy costs and helping the environment. Check the SEER rating (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) for energy efficiency to ensure the system will work well in your climate and be energy efficient. The minimum SEER is 13, and any system with a score above 16 is considered energy efficient. The best systems for energy efficiency are marked with the EnergyStar symbol.

Not Talking to Multiple Companies

Don’t just jump at the first HVAC company you meet, even if you are in a hurry to replace your air conditioner. Take your time and get quotes from at least two to three technicians. You want to find a company that is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and experienced. Getting multiple estimates allows you to compare the air conditioners and prices, as well as the companies themselves so that you feel comfortable with an HVAC technician you can trust.

Not Asking Questions

If you don’t understand something throughout the shopping and installation process, don’t be afraid to ask. You want to be completely confident in your purchase. Ask questions about how the unit works, any issues or maintenance that might arise, and where it will be installed in your home. Ask potential HVAC companies for references and about their experience in the area. It’s better to ask questions before the unit is installed instead of waiting until after or regretting your decision.

Purchasing a new AC system is a big decision. Take your time, ask questions, and do your research to avoid making these common mistakes.

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