Before you make any purchase, however, we highly recommend that you read through this overview of central air conditioners. We will give you buying tips, things to watch out for, and guidance to help you find the best air conditioner at the best price.
The most important issue to keep in mind, however, when buying a new central air conditioner is that you will have to hire a HVAC specialist to install it. You will need to do your homework to find the best contractor to install the unit.
Below, we share with you our strategy for choosing the most common type of central ac unit (like a split ac) and for how to find and hire the best contractor to install it.
How Much Will This Cost?
This is a tricky question to answer because the cost depends on a number of different factors, including what type of air conditioner you already have and if you already have duct-work installed.
If you are simply replacing a central air conditioner, it will run you $3000-$4000 for replacing a standard 36000 BTU central unit.
If you are installing a brand new central unit, however, you will have to include the cost of putting in ducts. This can drive up the price by quite a bit (by thousands of dollars).
A Cheaper Alternative?
If this just sounds like too much cash to spend, a cheaper alternative is available. In particular, you could simply install a room air conditioner in each room of your home.
You could go with a window air conditioner or a windowless air conditioner in each room. These units run anywhere from $200-$700 each depending on the BTUs. If you live in a part of the country that only requires air conditioner for a few months each year, this is certainly a cost-effective solution.
Selecting a Central Air Conditioner Unit
You need to ensure that you pick the correct size for your central air conditioner. Not only will this prevent you from wasting cash on a unit that is too big. It will also make sure that your home is adequately cooled.
The biggest mistake that contractors make is that they install a unit that is too big for the square footage in the home. This is a real problem. An air conditioner that is oversized will make the system unnecessarily expensive to run.
A unit that is too big for your home will cause noticeable temperature fluctuations because it will cycle on and off throughout the day. If you live in a humid climate, an oversized unit will not do a good job getting rid of the moisture in the air because it will keep shutting off when it reaches the set temperature (even if it hasn’t). dehumidified your home.
How to Avoid Buying an Oversized AC Unit
Oversizing most commonly occurs when a contractor does a guestimate of how many BTUs your home needs. For example, many contractors rely on the rule of thumb that every 500 square feet requires 12000 BTUs.
The problem with this estimate, however, is that it doesn’t take into account features specific to your home. Make sure that your contractor comes out to your home and takes detailed measurements and does a thorough assessment of how much cooling capacity you actually need.
Choosing the Best Brand
As you start your search for a new central air conditioner, here are some of the best brands on the market today: Carrier (also makes Bryant ac units), Trane, and Lennox.