How to Shop for a New A/C Unit

An air conditioning unit will last somewhere between 10 and 20 years, but most homeowners will have to replace theirs at some point. A new air conditioning unit is no small purchase, so it pays to take the time to do your research before you buy. Consider the following factors as you shop for your new A/C to help you make the most informed and practical decision.

1. Price

When you’re looking at price tags, keep in mind that there are two costs involved in purchasing a new A/C: the price of the unit and the cost of installation. Typically, you purchase your new unit through your HVAC contractor and pay a package price for the unit and installation. You have the option to buy your A/C wholesale and install it yourself to save money, but most people don’t possess the level of skill required to install an air conditioner. You’re better off paying a professional.

2. Contractor

The next step is to find a trustworthy contractor to handle the installation. Research online or ask around to find out who the respected contractors are in your area. It’s wise to ask for several quotes before making a choice—and don’t be tempted to just opt for the lowest price. You want to pay someone to take the time to get the job done right. Before you make your final decision, verify that the contractor you choose is certified by a trade organization to make sure you’re getting professional service.

3. Unit size

it’s crucial to make sure that your A/C unit is the proper size for your home. Your central air conditioner needs to be large enough that it’s capable of cooling your whole house, but not so large that it wastes energy. A system that’s too large for your home will cycle on and off, which is highly inefficient and will shoot up your monthly energy bill. Your HVAC contractor should come to your home and do a thorough inspection to calculate the size needed to cool your home effectively and efficiently.

4. Energy efficiency

Today’s air conditioners are far more energy efficient than they were 20 years ago, so if you’re replacing an old A/C, you’re in for a serious upgrade. Energy efficiency is expressed as the SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The minimum SEER permitted today is 13, so you’re going to want to look at units with SEER ratings of 13+. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit will be and the more you can increase your energy savings.

5. Maintenance

A/C units need regular maintenance in order to maintain efficient operation. A service package that includes seasonal inspections and discounts on parts and labor, in addition to the installation cost, is worth opting for when you negotiate with your contractor. Having a professional manage all maintenance tasks for your unit is the best way to ensure it has a long, healthy lifespan.

In addition to our Peace of Mind Service Plans, Bonfe offers a lifetime warranty for all units installed by Bonfe technicians.

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