Buying a new air conditioner in Minneapolis, MN can be a stressful task. Outside of the basic air conditioner information, you have to trust that your contractor is telling you the truth about what you need. While a professional HVAC expert can help you, it can also help to understand the fundamentals that describe an AC unit so you have a better idea of what is going on throughout the entire air conditioner installation process. Outside of pricing, there are a few basics that you should know before buying a new AC unit.
Do You Need a New AC Unit?
The very first thing you need to determine is whether you need a new AC unit or not. On average an air conditioning unit will last about 10 to 15 years, sometimes a little longer depending on the type of care and service that has been done. Repairs are logical on younger units, but when you start to repair an AC unit regularly the costs of repetitive repairs cumulatively need to be considered. At some point, you will end up paying more to repair your AC compared to the amount you will save to just replace it. A professional HVAC expert in Minneapolis, MN can often assess the situation for you and offer guidance, but ultimately you need to decide if it is time for air conditioner installation of a new unit.
SEER Values and Air Conditioner Installation
Now that you are ready to buy a new AC unit, you need to get familiar with SEER values. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It is a value that helps you evaluate how efficient an AC unit is. The higher the rating, the higher the efficiency of the model, but keep in mind the tests are run while the unit is brand new inside a lab. It is not the actual efficiency you are likely to see once the air conditioner is installed and in your home.
It’s similar to the MPG ratings on new vehicles. Can your new car get 40mpg on the highway? It may, but if you are racing at 80mph and accelerating back and forth constantly it won’t. There are a lot of conditions that influence how efficient an AC will be outside of the SEER value it is assigned.
Make no mistake, the SEER value is important and you want to look for a unit that is rated at least a 13, but reliability is more important. A lot of higher SEER valued units have two-stage compressors and those don’t always hold up as well as the lower models. If you still need repair visits, you are barely ahead. Keep in mind when making your final decision, that regardless of what SEER value you choose, the new unit is likely going to be much more efficient than your old model which was likely much lower, especially if it’s an old unit.
Size of the AC and Your Home
One of the most important factors that come into play before an air conditioner installation can be completed is the proper size. Your AC unit needs to be sized to fit the needs of your specific home. Tonnage is a popular term that you will see when you start to research AC units. It means how much cooling power an air conditioner has. To properly size your home and its needs, you should see an HVAC professional walking throughout your home assessing all areas in your home from the basement to the attic to crawl spaces. Your physical location, square footage inside your home, and several other factors all help determine the size of the AC you will need to purchase before an air conditioner installation can be completed.
Pricing and Your Air Conditioner Installation
At the end of the day, your new AC unit is going to set you back a few thousand dollars, so it’s not a decision you want to take lightly. There are dozens of brands of air conditioners and they all have their own price ranges and individual price tags. It may interest you to know that a lot of brands use the same internal components such as Aspen coils evaporator coils. Thus, regardless of which brand the size of your AC has on its side, it has the same pieces inside. With that in mind, you may want to stress a little less about choosing the right brand.
Of course, like almost everything else you get what you pay for. While there is some leg room when it comes to picking an air conditioner it is extremely important to choose a qualified HVAC contractor for the actual air conditioner installation. The reliability, efficiency, and lifetime of an air conditioning system hinge a great deal on how well the installation goes. You must choose a company that is up to the task. You can go with a cheaper installation company, but there is a good chance that will lead to problems down the road that will make your momentarily cheaper choice a more costly one.
Find a Professional HVAC Company
With that in mind, if you need a Minneapolis, MN HVAC contractor for air conditioner installation then you should turn to the fully trained and licensed HVAC technicians of Blue Ox Heating & Air. We have experience with all types of air conditioning systems and regularly install units for our clients. We would be happy to help you choose the right AC unit for your home and then properly install it so you don’t have to worry about replacement for the foreseeable future.