With global warming increasing, more people use AC units to stay cool. As a result, experts expect more than 151 million HVAC units will have been sold by 2024.
Buying a new AC unit can be a daunting task. There is much to consider, from AC unit size to which HVAC contractor you will use. You must also have a basic understanding of SEER ratings and how they affect the AC unit. Knowing all these factors can help you find the best HVAC system for your needs.
If buying an AC unit is something you’re considering, this article may be helpful. We’re discussing what key features and efficiencies to look out for.
Types of AC Systems
When buying a new AC unit, knowing your options is wise before buying. A good quality AC unit is a substantial investment, so you want to make the right choice. Some AC units can come with a hefty price tag, so take time to compare units and see what features you need and can afford.
There are many AC systems, and we will explore five AC systems you can choose from.
Window Air Conditioner
This type of air conditioner is an excellent option with a limited budget. Because they fit in your window, no ductwork is required, and you don’t need a licensed HVAC contractor to install them. However, these can be rather noisy and only provides cooling for one room.
Central Air Conditioner
This system is one of the most common air conditioner systems and provides heating and cooling to multiple areas in your home. This type of HVAC system requires ductwork, so there are better options than this if you live in an apartment. This system does need a licensed HVAC contractor to install it.
Often seen in offices, a ductless mini-split is mounted on the wall and requires no ductwork. This type of AC unit is best suited to rooms that need extra help staying cool or warm. A remote typically controls these systems.
Portable Air Conditioner
As the name suggests, you can transport these AC units between rooms that need cooling. However, you will need a window nearby as these units need to dispose of warm air. This is a cost-effective option if you don’t have serious air conditioning needs.
Smart Air Conditioner
Smart air conditioning is not necessarily a type of AC unit but rather an indication of its features. These may be more expensive and require learning to understand the unit’s controls.
Now comes the fun part: what features to look for in your new AC unit. It’s important to understand that not all AC units have the same features, so spend time comparing models before committing to one financially. Here are some of the features you may want to consider.
- Multiple Operating Modes
- SEER Rating
- Human Presence Sensor
- Adjustable Fins
- Air Purifying Features
- Automatic De-Icing
- Smart Connectivity
Some of these features may not seem worthwhile for your requirements, and that’s to be expected. Choose the AC unit that has features you’re going to use. Let’s take a look at each individually.
Multiple Operating Modes
A standard feature across most air conditioning systems, multiple operating modes allow you to change your heating or cooling settings according to your environment. Some of the more common operational modes are:
- Cool (Cools the room)
- Heat (Heats the room)
- Fan mode (Uses only a fan to cool)
- Dry (Reduces room humidity)
- Turbo (Rapidly cools a room)
- Energy saver (Reduces energy use when heating or cooling)
The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating accurately measures the efficiency of air conditioner units. Typically this will be indicated by a sticker somewhere on the unit or can be found in the manual. A good SEER rating is 16 or higher.
The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit; some AC units reach as high as 23. Finally, the more energy-efficient the unit is, the more it will cost.
Human Presence Sensor
This feature is a more recent addition to HVAC systems and can detect when a person is in the room and when they are not. An AC unit with this feature would turn on, off, or into energy-saving mode as people enter and leave the vicinity. This feature can save on energy bills as the air conditioner doesn’t run while the room is vacant.
Not everyone likes sitting directly under a blowing air conditioner, so another feature almost every AC unit has are adjustable fins. An AC unit with adjustable fins will have several settings you can use, such as auto-adjusting and manual up or down. You can control the fin direction using the AC unit’s remote.
If you live in a cold climate, this may be a feature you want to take advantage of. Automatic de-icing is when your AC unit switches from cooling to heating. This switch is required when ice starts forming and building up on the outdoor unit. This buildup will reduce the efficiency of your AC unit.
The last key feature to consider when buying an AC unit is its smart connectivity options. Smart air conditioners will typically connect to your home’s wifi network.
This connection lets you control the unit from your smartphone or tablet once you’ve downloaded and installed the app. These apps will come with several settings you can adjust.
Make Sure Your New AC Unit is Ideal For You
With so many air conditioner options, taking the time to understand the different types and their features is a crucial step when buying a new AC unit. As you research various models, note the features they come with and cross out the ones that don’t fit your needs or budget.
Contact us today if you’re in San Francisco and need reliable heating and air conditioning comfort experts. We are here for all your HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair needs.