Are you finding the summer heat unbearable?
If you are opening every window, turning on every fan or even sticking your head in the freezer to find some relief from the heat, it may be time to consider getting an air conditioner.
But before you run to the store to make your purchase, there are things you should consider before choosing an air conditioner for your home:
Do I Need an Air Conditioner?
This is probably the most important question, since there is no point in buying an air conditioner if you don’t really need one.
There are many ways you can try to keep your house cool without an air conditioner. You may want to explore these options before committing to yourself to not only the cost of an air conditioner, but the cost of running it and maintaining it as well.
For example, you can try moving down to your finished basement during particularly hot nights or trying to keep your lights off as much as possible during the summertime (yes, this really helps!).
However, if you find that nothing provides relief from the sweltering summer heat, it’s probably time to make that purchase.
What Kind of Air Conditioner Should I Buy?
Once you’ve determined that, yes, your home definitely needs an air conditioner, the next step is choosing the best AC unit for your home.
When it comes to choosing an air conditioner for your home, consider the following:
- The size of the unit. You need to choose a unit that has the capacity to cool your home. A small unit will struggle to keep up with cooling a larger home, but a unit too large for your home is a waste of space and money.
- Your budget. It’s possible that your budget can’t handle a full AC installation, so you may want to choose a portable or window unit. To save money in the long run, pick an energy efficient model and look for rebate programs.
- The type of system. There are 3 main types of AC systems you can choose for your home and each has their own pros and cons
There are two types of AC systems that are popular for homes:
More and more people are opting for split AC systems because they provide both heating and cooling options. It’s referred to as a “split” system due to the indoor and outdoor components.
If you already have a furnace, you simply need to add an AC coil to the top of the furnace and use its ductwork to blow cool air throughout your home.
Portable or Window Units
With a smaller living space, it may be more appropriate to purchase portable or window units to cool down specific rooms in your house.
The benefit of having a portable unit is that you can, obviously, move it from room to room with ease. Window units are harder to carry around and tend to stay in one window for the summer.
Air Conditioning and Maintenance
When you purchase an air conditioning system, you need to consider maintenance and repair costs. In order to maintain efficiency, you want to make sure your unit is in good working condition.
Split systems are more involved than portable/window units, so they may require professional services when it comes to keeping them maintained and repaired.
Portable and windows units are easier to take care of.
No matter the style of unit you choose, keep in mind that you will need to keep filters clean in order to provide optimal cooling and maintain good air quality.