What is The Best Air Conditioner?
Air conditioners that meet these requirements have a seasonal power efficiency ration (SEER) of at the very least 14 and an power efficiency ration (EER) of at the very least 12, though some units are far more efficient than that.
Value for cash. In addition to saving you cash on your electric bill, each and every Energy Star-rated central air conditioner is eligible for any $300 federal tax credit through the end of 2014.
A great repair record. The least dependable brands are nearly 75 % much more probably to break down than probably the most trustworthy brands — although this might have more to accomplish together with the high quality from the contractor than together with the gear itself.
A lengthy warranty. All of our top-rated models are covered for at least ten years.
Know prior to you go
Do you have the needed ductwork? If you are replacing an current central air conditioner, then your house will already possess a method of ducts in spot. Even so, your contractor need to still check out the ducts to ensure they are in excellent situation. Make sure to inform the contractor about any difficulties you happen to be possessing with airflow or uneven cooling along with your current technique, given that this could be a sign of poorly designed ductwork. In the event you are adding a new air conditioner, you could possibly be capable of connect it to the ductwork for the central heating system, even though it may need to have some modifications. In case your house has no ductwork, you may wish to consider a ductless mini-split program.
Think about your climate. In the event you live in a hot, humid climate, it’s especially critical to decide on an air conditioner with a high SEER, because the air conditioner will likely be operating a good deal. Within a hot, dry climate, EER is far more critical than SEER; it measures how powerful the air conditioner is going to be inside the hottest weather. People who reside in dry climates may well also think about skipping the air conditioner in favor of an evaporative cooler, or swamp cooler, which makes use of much less power. In mild climates, think about a heat pump, which could meet your wants for heating as well as cooling.
What rebates are obtainable? As talked about above, all Energy Star-rated central air conditioners can get you a federal earnings tax credit. Nevertheless, other rebates may be obtainable out of your state, town or local electric business. To qualify for these, you could possibly must buy a unit with a greater SEER than the basic Energy Star standard. According to what rebates you’ll be able to get, a higher-SEER technique might really price much less out of pocket than a lower-SEER a single.
Acquiring techniques and techniques
Get at the very least three quotes from contractors. Referrals from buddies, neighbors and co-workers could be a very good starting point. You can also ask neighborhood trade organizations for names of members inside your region. Organizations just like the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) have directories on their websites that can be searched by ZIP code.
Ask for specifics. Do not trust a contractor who gives you an estimate based solely in your home’s square footage. Make certain the contractor calculates your home’s cooling demands based on Manual J, a tool published by the ACCA, and get a written estimate that shows all calculations, including ductwork style.
Verify out the contractor’s credentials. Ask to see the contractor’s license and proof of insurance, and find out how long the firm has been in business. ConsumerReports.org recommends trying to find a company whose technicians are certified by a trade organization, for example North American Technician Excellence (NATE) or HVAC Excellence.
Expect expert behavior. Your contractor should show up on time and treat you with courtesy. A contractor who is late, unreliable or surly is not someone you’ll wish to have coping with your air conditioner’s troubles within the future.
Verify references. Get a minimum of 3 references from every single contractor. Get in touch with them up to ask whether they were happy together with the function. Was it completed on time and on spending budget? Have been there any issues? You’ll be able to also check along with your neighborhood Better Business Bureau for complaints in regards to the company.
Examine bids. Don’t rely solely on cost; you must expect to pay more for high quality function. An very low bid is a warning sign that a contractor is most likely to reduce corners. The ACCA gives a handy installation checklist on their website to compare bids determined by both cost and top quality.
Negotiate for the top deal. An estimate is not set in stone. In case you have an additional bid that’s decrease, ask the contractor to clarify the discrepancy. In the event you ask to get a relatively tiny discount, you’ll probably get it. You can also negotiate for any far better warranty or service contract.
Get it in writing. Make certain to obtain a written contract ahead of the operate starts. Project fees, scheduling, model numbers and warranty data ought to all be specified. This may shield you from undesirable last-minute alterations.