An air conditioner can keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Take a look at the considerations below to learn more about how to maximize your comfort and minimize your monthly energy bills.
Things to consider when buying an air conditioner
- What is the SEER rating? SEER refers to Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. It's how air conditioners are rated for efficiency. The higher the number, the less energy (and money) you will be wasting. The best air conditioners top out at over 20 SEER, while the legal minimum for new units is 13 SEER.
- Does it have more than one "stage" of cooling? Air conditioners with multi-stage compressors have multiple levels of cooling capacity. It's like adjusting the amount of heat your stove top puts out while you're cooking. Most of the time, your home doesn't require "High" cooling, so you can save energy and money with a multi-stage unit. Some air conditioners only have one stage, some have two (Low and High).
- How loud is it? Since air conditioners sit outside your home, the noise level affects your neighbors too. Make sure to check out the decibel rating before buying an air conditioner!
- Have you considered a Heat Pump? A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner that can also run in reverse, providing heat for your home on all but the coldest days of the year. Because they only use electricity, this can save energy and money compared to always using a gas-fired furnace to heat your home. Often, the extra investment will more than pay for itself over a few years of savings on energy bills.
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