Buying A New Air Conditioner Soon? Must-Have Features No Homeowner Can Live Without
by Greg Leisgang on May 30, 2012
Posted in: Air Conditioners
Central air conditioners provide Greater Cincinnati homeowners with the best option for keeping their home comfortable all summer long. If you’re shopping for a new air conditioner this season, keep the following must-have features in mind:
- High-efficiency ratings -- You may see one of two efficiency ratings on your air conditioner. They are Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). SEER indicates how much energy is required to achieve a certain cooling output over an entire season. EER is similar, but a high EER rating indicates that your unit will succeed at keeping your dehumidified even on the hottest days. For the best performance, and a high-efficiency system, look for SEER 16 or higher and EER 11.0 or above.
- Variable-speed air handler -- This must-have feature allows a system to run primarily on low speed, keeping your home comfortable until higher cooling demands automatically push the air conditioner to higher speeds. The results are lower energy consumption, more consistent home temperature and less strain on the system’s parts.
- Fan-only switch -- You can save tremendously on cooling costs by using the fan-only switch at night, particularly useful during milder temperatures. You’ll enjoy continued air circulation, without running the compressor, saving you money while continuing to keep you comfortable.
- Check filter light -- With this feature, there’s no need to keep track of when to change the air filer. When the light illuminates, it signals that it’s time to clean or replace the filter, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. The light will automatically come on after a certain number of operating hours.
- Automatic-delay fan switch: This feature keeps the fan running a few minutes longer than the compressor. That way, cooled air trapped in the ductwork can be circulated through your home. This keeps you more comfortable and reduces energy costs.
- Quiet operation: Be sure to check the manufacturer's label to select a quiet system, with a bel (a term that denotes noise levels) rating between 8 and 9, but quieter systems rated 6.8 bels are also available.
For more expert advice about selecting a new air conditioner and other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at JonLe Heating & Cooling. We serve residents of the Greater Cincinnati area.