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Four Key Considerations for an A/C Upgrade
A new air conditioner is a big investment for any Massachusetts homeowner – but sometimes it’s a necessary one, especially when you consider how efficient modern central A/C and ductless air conditioner systems have become (and how hot our summers seem to be these days).
When the time comes to replace your air conditioner, there are several factors you’ll need to consider if you want to make a well-informed purchase. Here are four of the most important ones:
Size – Taking the time to properly match a cooling system to your home’s cooling load is well worth the trouble: a right-sized air-conditioning system can reduce energy usage by up to 35 percent, while an over- or under-sized unit can raise energy bills and even shorten the lifespan of your equipment. The key is to get a system that is large enough to handle the workload it’s likely to encounter – but no larger.
Determining cooling load is a complicated process that takes into account many factors – the size of your home, the quality and quantity of insulation you have installed, the amount of sun and shade your home is exposed to, and much more. To get an accurate assessment of your cooling load, it’s worth your time to call in a professional.
Efficiency – A SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is a good starting point for comparing the efficiency of air conditioning systems that you’re interested in (the higher the SEER number, the more efficient – and expensive – the unit is). Just remember that SEER has its limits, since doesn’t take into account other factors that can dramatically affect efficiency such as leaky ductwork or improper insulation. Again, system matching (along with performing proper A/C maintenance) becomes a key to lower bills for new and older systems.
Ductless vs. Central Air – If you have an older home with no ductwork, a ductless (or “mini-split”) system is a far better option than window units, delivering superior efficiency, whisper-quiet operation and greater placement flexibility. If your home has ductwork already, a central air conditioner is probably the smarter choice – although ductless can provide excellent supplemental cooling source for rooms with no windows or home additions.
Rebates and specials – Manufacturer’s rebates and other promotions on high-efficiency equipment can help you save more money on a new A/C. Our expert staff is up-to-date on all current rebates and government efficiency incentives – contact us to learn more.