5 Shopping Guidelines for an Air Conditioner

Although we may lose sight of their importance during the cooler months, having a proper cooling system installed in your home or work space can be crucial to enjoying the summer heat and allowing you make the most of your time. When spaces get overheated, they become stuffy and uncomfortable, contributing to irritability and general frustration.

Luckily, a good air conditioning system can now be purchased for a reasonable price and there are options available to suit a variety of needs and budgets.

1. Be realistic about frequency

On a scorching hot day, it can be tempting to want to invest in a high-capacity, through-the-wall, full cooling system with all the bells and whistles, but you should take a moment to ask yourself if this is really necessary. Depending on how often you’re actually going to require an air conditioner, a portable option might be the best for you. Having something you can store out-of-sight when it is not in use might go a long way to ensuring you don’t regret your investment once the weather takes a turn.

2. Size matters

The second most important factor you should take into consideration off the bat is the size of the space that you need to be cooled. Naturally, the larger the space, the higher capacity you will require, but you also need to take into consideration things like sun exposure and whether or not there are other factors contributing heat to the room.

If you’re dealing with a kitchen that receives a lot of day time light and often has hot appliances running, you’re going to need something more powerful that you would to cool a darker bedroom of the same size.

3. Tonnage and capacity

When it comes to finding the right machine for your needs, it is ultimately going to come down to capacity and finding the right tonnage for your space. If you underestimate your cooling needs when making the initial decision, it’ll end up requiring a lot more energy to provide the required cooling. This means that any cash you saved on the lower price tag of the unit will be more than made up for by subsequent higher power bills.

Not to mention, when a unit is forced to consistently run at full power, it will show wear quicker and could end up breaking down much earlier than a system better suited to your space.

4. Higher capacity isn’t always better

That being said, don’t let yourself get talked into buying a top of the line model just because you think they necessarily work better. Some spaces require a very high capacity, and some simply don’t. If you buy one with a higher than required tonnage, you will spend more on the initial purchase and still end up paying higher power bills than if you’d chosen something which was a more reasonable fit.

5. Efficiency ratings exist for a reason

Rating methodologies have been created and assigned to air conditioning units in order to allow you to make an informed decision when making a purchase. The technology now exists that enables companies to create environmentally responsible units that don’t necessarily cost much more than their energy guzzling counterparts. You don’t want to be disappointed by learning something unpleasant about the company you’ve decided to go with down the road, so make sure you check the star rating before you buy.

That being said, your usage pattern does play an important role in whether or not you really need to invest in a 5-star model. Weigh the pros and cons and do a little research before you pick the cooling system that is right for you.

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