Summer is right around the corner in Los Angeles. Homeowners, are you ready?
Heat. Sweltering heat. Unbearable on a good day and the thing we dread the most is the HEAT of summer. What can make it even worse? That moment you realize your AC is broken!
Picture it now, summer has just begun. The sun is beating down, and the temperatures are near scorching! You pack up the kids and head to the beach. After a long day out in the sun, you open the door as you arrive home. You quickly realize it is just as hot inside as it is outside and your AC isn’t working. Here we will explain how a new unit isn’t so scary and can even end up saving you money. We will tell you all that you need to know to begin the process of purchasing, installing, and saving with a new AC unit.
PURCHASING YOUR NEW AIR CONDITIONER
For most people, the cost of replacing an AC unit is much greater than the cost of repairing it. Did you know that by upgrading your air conditioner you would be saving money on your electric bills? Upgrading your entire unit saves you hundreds, even thousands in electricity over time. The better the unit’s efficiency, the less energy it uses to cool or heat your home.
When considering purchasing your new AC unit you must consider a few qualities. The first thing to consider would be the type of unit you are looking to buy, the capacity that the unit can handle, and the energy efficiency for a room or house the size that you need.
Portable air conditioners are one option. They help cool down a single room or small apartment. They are less expensive than the large central air conditioners that cool or heat an entire house. A perk of their smaller size, moving them from room to room to heat or cool as needed is easy. Most models come with wheels on the bottom. The downside to them is that they tend to be bulky, ugly, and still give off a heated exhaust when in use. There is also the option of a window air conditioner. These vary in size from small to large and can simply sit in a sturdy window frame. They do still need a bit of installation, but they free up floor space, making them a better option than the portable air conditioner. There is a negative side to the window unit: they only cool or heat the room they are in.
Newer units called through the wall air conditioners are similar in that they only cool one room at a time. The negative side to them is that they are quite heavy. But they have a stronger cooling power than the first two options. This makes them desirable for some homeowners.
Popular for its high-efficiency cooling mechanisms, another option is the ductless or split air conditioner. It is one of the pricier options on the AC spectrum, but it offers the most flexibility and control. The main system is placed outside with cooling lines running through the house. This allows for strategic placement of the different ports throughout the house. With its ultra-quiet low profile, this unit is the ninja of all air conditioners.
Some of these options also come with an additional variation called a heat pump, which does exactly what you’d expect. It pumps heat into your house. So, on a chilly winter night, it also heats your room or your house, depending on your AC option. Heat pumps work oppositely, they take out the cool air and replace it with hot air. Keeping things nice and toasty.
If you are interested in replacing the central air conditioner that regulates your entire house, we agree. It is the best option and the best bang for your buck. Keep in mind that all these options have different price points. Some start under one hundred and top out at several thousand.
Let’s focus on central air conditioners for a moment. How do these central units differ from the smaller units previously mentioned? It takes all the hot air out of your home through the ducts and vents already installed. It is the most common air-cooling system in homes today. It cools all the rooms in the house at once. This is the familiar & traditional big box that sits on the side of your house, making a gentle whooshing sound as it pumps cool air through every room.
Did you know that they have cool features now like smart thermostats? You can control your central air conditioner from any room in the house, or even from the office as you pack up to head home. Change the AC from 75 down to 71 just in time for you to arrive home. You can set a schedule, and have it automatically change the temperature when you are sleeping or working. Monitor the kids while you’re on a business trip, seeing if they touched the dial and cranked it way down in the middle of summer. The power is in your hands and with all that smart technology and efficiency, that is more money back in your pocket.
This boils down to a simple question: how much space do you want to be cooled? Is this a replacement for a unit that regulated the temperature in the entire house or a new unit for dad’s garage workshop? All the rooms in your house have the potential to be cooled or heated with your central air conditioner. From the master bedroom to the half bath, you can handpick what needs air conditioning and what doesn’t. The larger the unit the larger the service area.
How high is high enough? You do not always need the top dog when it comes to Air Conditioning Units. Ultra-high-efficiency air conditioners do not suit every budget or need. The higher the efficiency the better for your everyday home cooling or heating needs. So how do you know which model and efficiency are right for you? It depends on how often you use your HVAC system in the summer and winter. If you use the heat and cooling features 24/7, then you’ll want a higher efficiency. If you open the windows, open the doors, and let the breeze in, you may not need a high-efficiency unit. The more you use it, the higher you’ll want the efficiency to be. You’ll save more as you use it (high efficiency), just as you’ll save more if you don’t use it (low efficiency).
Do you know what else your AC unit is doing? It is cleaning the air you breathe while it regulates the temperature of your house. Some of the most important features of AC units often get overlooked. These amazing features include dust filtration, dehumidification, anti-bacteria filter, auto-clean function, sleep mode (can help cut electricity bills!), coils, control panels (LED lights make them look cool.), and airflow vents. All of this is in addition to the main function of an air conditioner: heating and cooling. Most of these features are used for the benefit of the unit itself. They help prolong the life of the unit, therefore you have less ac repair, damage, and risk to replace.
How long ago did you last check your air filter? When was the last time you replaced it? On average you should replace your filter every 45 days for best efficiency up to 90 days. This helps keep your air conditioner working at a steady pace. Having a dirty filter is like having soot in your lungs & your AC unit is the ‘lungs’ of your home. Take care of it and it’ll take care of you.
This will vary between manufacturers so, make sure to read and review the warranty of all the air conditioners you are considering. Some companies will cover mechanical and refrigeration parts but not filters, some include labor while others don’t. It would be in your best interest to go into purchasing your new air conditioner knowing all the facts about it.