How To Choose A System For Air Conditioner Installation | Fort Worth, TX
The investment in a new air conditioner often requires a significant amount of planning. Though you can have one installed quickly, especially if your existing one is no longer working, it is also beneficial to have a bit more time to compare options and select based on the way you use air conditioning. Before air conditioner installation can occur, then, you need to know how to choose a system that is perfectly suited for your home.
Key Factors in Choosing a New Air Conditioner
Air conditioner installation should be done by a licensed professional. They can often offer you the best insight and guidance into choosing a system that is suited for your lifestyle and needs, as well as the climate. You should be educated about this process and what features are essential. As you consider air conditioner installation, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
What Type of System Is Best for Your Home?
Many people who need air conditioner installation will replace their existing systems with similar ones. However, you may have some flexibility or desire to make a switch. There are typically a few specific types of air conditioners to select from that could work well.
- Packaged System: Many people in Fort Worth will have a packaged system. That means it will combine both heating and cooling into one model. If you need to replace your home’s heating system as well, or the one you have is quite old, this could be an option for replacement.
- Split System: In a split system, the two main units for the heating and cooling in a home are separated. Split systems can work well when you have a home with a basement or a larger property since they tend to be more efficient.
- Ductless System: If your home or a component of your home you want to cool does not have ductwork, a ductless system may be used. If you are adding air conditioner installation to a new portion of your home, such as a home addition or the garage, this option can be more affordable than adding ductwork.
- Hybrid System: A hybrid model is one of the more modern options that allow for the same design as a split system but typically will offer a better level of energy efficiency. That’s because it typically uses a hybrid electric heater system.
Which one is right for your air conditioner installation? That is dependent on many factors, including the style of home you have, your budget, and any changes you wish to make. Your technician will provide guidance and overall support in choosing these options.
The proper size for your air conditioner makes a big difference in the overall functionality of the system. Purchasing a system that is too small for your home is a common mistake. It often leads to early breakdowns and failures because the system has to run continuously in the Texas heat to cool the home to the desired level. That increases energy costs, too.
However, installing a system that is too large for your home is not beneficial. This system is likely to turn on, quickly cool the home, and then turn off. However, it is not cooling properly, and that means it will likely need to kick on again shortly to cool down the space. This increases cycling – the on and off process – and the air conditioner’s energy consumption.
Generally, a good thing to consider is the system’s cooling capacity, which is typically within the range of 5,000 to 12,500 BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour. A goal for many homes is to select a system that gets 30 BTUs per square foot of your home.
Other factors besides the size of the home will play a role in what size system is best suited to your property as well. Here are a few examples:
- High ceilings and open spaces tend to be harder to cool. They may require more power to do so.
- A home with many windows, especially larger ones, may have more energy loss from those windows.
- If your home has more than two people living in it, you may wish to increase the BTUs of the system by about 600 per person beyond two people.
Another core factor to consider is the conditions in Fort Worth. This is likely to require a system that has about 30 to 35 BTUs per square foot, whereas some homes may require a lower level up north – in other words, you want to buy one that’s based on the climate in your area, not recommendations for someone living in New York.
Air Conditioner Tons
You are likely to notice that air conditioner installation often means choosing a system by how many tons it has. This is another method for measuring the power and performance of the air conditioner. A ton is how much heat the air conditioner itself can remove from the home within 60 minutes. It uses the measurement of that heat (BTUs) to calculate the tons required. If the air conditioner is one ton, it can remove 12,000 BTUs of air each hour from the home. Most homes will need one ton for every 1000 square feet of space. That means if your home is 2,000 square feet, you likely need a 2 ton system.
Because these factors are so important during air conditioner installation, it is best to work closely with your technician to get a better understanding of your options and what works best for your home. Things like preferences in how cool you like the home, the overall style of the home, and even if the home is in a shady area can impact the amount of power the system needs to have.
For many property owners, air conditioner installation can mean removing an old, no longer efficient model and replacing it with one that can save you money. Many factors play a role in determining how efficient an air conditioner is.
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is one of the terms often used to describe how efficient an air conditioner is. To determine this rating, take the air conditioner capacity, expressed in BTUs, and divide it by the power it has, expressed in watts. The higher this figure is, the more power the system has to cool the home. Generally speaking, you do not have to do this calculation yourself. Most manufacturers will provide this information to you. However, it is important to compare EER ratings among several systems before you choose one for air conditioner installation.
Another way to look at this efficiency is with the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). This is a rating, also provided by the manufacturer in most cases, that provides information on how efficient the system is. As you compare options, look for those that have a higher rating. That means they are going to save you money over other systems that have a lower rating if all other factors are considered.
Finally, seek out an ENERGY STAR certified air conditioner. The U.S. Department of Energy pays close attention to energy efficiency in these systems. If the system is considered ENERGY STAR certified, that means it is likely to operate with less power to cool the home. You will notice the ENERGY STAR symbol on all systems that meet these expectations.
One of the things many people do not think about when considering a new system for air conditioner installation is the sound of the system. Newer models are run quieter, and that can be a big factor for many communities. While the interior system may not sound noisy, the exterior air conditioner condenser, which turns on and off throughout any time you are using it, will make a significant amount of sound.
Choosing a quieter model that is still efficient could help you to keep things around your home a bit more enjoyable. If you have a low noise tolerance or you live in a community with homes close to each other, this may be a critical investment. Air conditioning installation is a long-term investment. Make sure you get a system that fits your needs.
One of the conversations to have with a technician who will provide air conditioner installation is how comfort-focused the system is. The goal here may be to choose an air conditioner that gets your home to the perfect temperature. However, some do a better job of improving the home’s overall comfort level.
A good way to get some additional information on this is to read product reviews. Look for the very specific make and model of the air conditioner you are considering. Then, look for consumer (and expert) reviews. This can often influence your buying decision. Ask your technician about comfort before making an air conditioner installation decision.
Today’s more modern air conditioner can last 10 to 15 years, and sometimes twice as long, with good maintenance and design. However, these systems are often very much in demand throughout the hot months, which means failures or problems can arise. If the air conditioner has a warranty, some of those costs may be lessened for you. Prior to air conditioner installation, be sure to ask the technician about the following:
- The length of the warranty from the manufacturer
- What the warranty covers
- What type of workmanship warranty is provided
Also, learn about any restrictions on that warranty, such as ensuring that the system is maintained annually. This is a valuable component of your purchase. You want to be sure you are getting the best warranty for your needs.
Technically the thermostat is not a part of the air conditioner itself. However, it is commonly replaced during air conditioner installation. You have a lot of options to choose from here, though the technician may offer a few models that are commonly used or considered standard. The goal is to choose a thermostat that:
- Offers a simple interface that you have no trouble using
- Programmable features that allow you to conserve energy
- Any smart home features you want based on what you use it for
- Zoned control options, if you plan to upgrade to this
Often, choosing a programmable thermostat will help to prolong the life of the air conditioner. That’s because it helps it to turn off when it’s not needed.
The next factor to consider during air conditioner installation is the maintenance the system requires. All air conditioners have filters designed to remove particles from the air being pulled into them. Some are replaceable, disposable air filters. Others are designed to be reused. You just need to remove them, clean them, and put them back.
You also want to know what type of service is necessary. Most often, it is ideal to choose a system that requires an annual inspection and maintenance. The more intensive the maintenance is, the less ideal the system is for your home.
Most air conditioners do not have air-cleaning components to them. That’s a misconception. However, during your air conditioner installation, this could be a good time to consider upgrading to this. You can also choose a system that uses a higher-grade air filter, which could help you to keep the overall air quality in your home higher. A separate air cleaning system could be recommended for some properties.
Getting the Help You Need
Air conditioner installation is a big investment because this appliance should work very reliably for you over the next decade or two. For that reason, you want to choose a reliable, experienced company to help you choose and install it.
When the time comes to consider air conditioner installation, give our team a call at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth. We are happy to offer recommendations to you.
See our recent blog on this topic here.