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hvac buying guide
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Purchasing an air conditioning system for your home is one of the more expensive investments you will make so let’s take look at some key things to consider before pulling the trigger on that new air conditioning system.

Levels of Quality

One of the first things I ask my home owners is how long they plan to stay in the home. The reason being there are different levels of quality when it comes to air conditioners. Certain brands will give you about ten years of life, better brands 12-15 years and when you get up in to the best of the best AC systems you can expect 15 years plus of life with the proper maintenance. So, for the home owner that is planning on moving in the next couple of years making the bigger investment in a unit that has the possibility of lasting 18 years might not make sense.

SEER Rating

The next thing to consider is SEER rating. SEER is an acronym for seasonal energy efficiency rating. The SEER scale goes from 14 which is the minimum we are allowed to install per building code all the way up to 25 depending on the size of the system. The higher the SEER rating the less electricity the unit will consume during operation. Each SEER point represents about $100 a year in electrical savings. So in theory a 25 SEER will be around $1,100 a year less expensive to operate than the low 14 SEER unit. I say in theory because SEER rating is determined in laboratory conditions with no filters, ducts and the system is perfectly clean. Adding filters, the needed duct system and dirt all affect the SEER rating of the equipment in a negative way. I promise you the 25 SEER is going to be much less expensive to operate than the 14, however Einstein himself would have a difficult time providing you with an exact dollar amount in savings as the variables are too numerous.

The Right Company

What’s next you ask? Very simply, it’s picking the right company to install your equipment. The MOST important day of an air conditioners life is the day that it is installed. There are numerous short cuts that can be taken by an installing company to speed up the process so that company can make more money. The typical consumer is not going to know that short cuts were taken until they have a dead compressor on the unit that is a year and a half old. It is highly probable that if you have a dead compressor on a unit that new someone didn’t do something right during the installation process. Make sure your installing company has a comprehensive check list that they share with you on the steps for an installation. The list should be quite long and make sure they state they will put the system on a deep vacuum before start up. What that means in English is that when we open the refrigerant circuits to install the unit moisture enters the system. A deep vacuum will make sure that the only thing in the refrigerant circuit is refrigerant and not water.


As always please check the reviews on the company that you are considering to install you new comfort system. Also make sure that the company looks at the attic insulation levels as well as the condition of the duct system. Putting a new high-efficiency air conditioner on a defective duct system is the equivalent of taking a 400 HP engine and dropping it in a 1974 Ford Pinto, it is just not going to work correctly.

Well my time here has ended. Until we meet again, I was wondering if I had a car that could travel at the speed of light and I turned the headlights on what would happen.

House Whisperer out!!


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