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Tips for buying a new air conditioner

buying a new air conditioner

Buying a new air conditioner can be very confusing and misleading, due to the variety of options available. After all, how can you know if what the contractors are telling you is actually true? The most important thing is understanding the basics of AC units and knowing which one will be the best fit for your home. The best consumer is an educated consumer. At AJ’s Air, we are ready to help clarify any confusion you may have. We always provide our clients with honest, straightforward answers to their HVAC questions.

In this article, we will discuss some important topics and tips that are the most relevant in order to buy a new air conditioner. This includes choosing a licensed contractor, unit size, system SEER ratings, AC brands, and pricing. As mentioned before, the more educated you on the products you are looking to purchase, the smoother the process will be.

Choosing the right contractor is the most fundamental part of this equation. First, start by doing some research on local contractors. Google is a good place to start; reading customer reviews on local AC companies will help you assess which company would be a good fit for you. Next, get a few estimates from 3 to 4 AC companies. This way you can compare what each company is offering you and you can decide which company you would prefer to install your new AC system. In order for a technician to give you an accurate estimate, they will need to make a visit to your home. The technician will gather information to make sure that the install the right AC System for your home.

Many factors go into choosing the proper size air conditioner for your home. It is best if you have an experienced technician or contractor that can size a new AC system by doing a formal calculation, some will do this and others may not. This calculation will allow the technician to provide you with the correct size unit for the size of your home. This size is referred to as “ton” or “tonnage.” A ton is a measurement of an air conditioner’s cooling power. You can think of it like the engine size of your car: 4.0 L V-6 is more powerful than 2.5 L V-6, and 3-ton AC is more powerful than a 1-ton AC. Just remember bigger is not always better. It is important to buy the right size air conditioner for the square footage that the AC system will be cooling.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it is an evaluation of the efficiency of an AC unit. If you want a more energy efficient unit, you would select a unit with higher SEER rating. People often ask us “What is your recommendation?” Every case is different and subjective. You have to understand your own environment and situation. Do you like your AC set at 78 degrees or 70 degrees? Are you living in New York or Florida? There are many variables to consider when making these recommendations. Federal regulations require a minimum SEER rating of 14 on all newly installed air conditioners. Older AC systems ranged from 10-13 SEER. Any new unit, even if it is a basic 14 SEER model, will be significantly more efficient.

“What is a fair price when buying a new air conditioner?” We get this question a lot, but again, it depends on what you are looking for. Similar to when you are buying a new car, a Toyota is not the same as a Ferrari. This is the same with air conditioners; a Goodman is not the same as a Trane. Also, keep in mind that the higher the tonnage and the higher the SEER rating, the more costly the system. Generally, for a new AC (installed) will range from $3,000 – $8,000. This should include all costs, taxes, permit fees, a thermostat, a high-quality air filter and installation by a licensed contractor. You may be able to find cheaper prices with some companies, but you will be compromising the quality of work and possibly your warranty if a licensed contractor does not do the installation.

Do you still have questions? Please contact us at 407-483-8937 or