Whether it's today or several years down the line, sooner or later, you'll have to choose a new air conditioner for your home. With so many choices available, it can be tough to choose the right system your home needs to stay comfortable. The following offers a few pointers to consider as you search for your next air conditioner.

Consider The Type Of System

One of the first choices you'll face is the type of air conditioning system your home needs. For the vast majority of homeowners, the traditional split-system central air conditioner is usually the first and foremost choice. If your home already uses an existing split system, then chances are you'll be looking for a direct replacement.

If your home doesn't have enough space to install conventional ductwork, then you might be better off with a high-velocity mini-duct air conditioner or a ductless mini-split system. The former uses a combination of small, flexible ducts and a powerful high-velocity blower to deliver conditioned air. The latter does away with ducts entirely, and instead, relies on multiple compact air handlers installed throughout the home.

Consider Your Home's Size

Size definitely matters when it comes to choosing the best air conditioner for your home. Your home's size can easily influence how much cooling performance your air conditioner needs to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. The cooling needs of a large three-story home will be drastically different from those of a much smaller one-story home.

Air conditioner performance is all about removing heat energy and such performance is usually measured by how many BTUs or British Thermal Units of heat an air conditioner can remove in an hour's time. However, choosing the right air conditioner isn't as simple as installing the largest system with the most BTUs. Choosing an air conditioner that's too large or too small for your home could result in an uncomfortable home, higher utility bills, higher repair costs, and a shorter lifespan for your air conditioner.

The best and most accurate way of sizing up your home's cooling needs is through a Manual J load calculation. This specialized process takes a broad range of factors about your home into account, including its square footage, insulation type and quantity, solar heat gain, and window types. Once complete, your HVAC technician can use the results to select the best air conditioner that offers exactly what your home needs.

Consider The Features You Want

Today's air conditioners come with a variety of features that offer enhanced comfort and convenience. While most air conditioners come standard with a single-speed blower fan, many offer variable-speed blowers that operate at multiple speeds for better comfort and energy efficiency. Some units also feature two-stage compressors that work at a reduced output when cooling demands are light.

Programmable thermostats are another feature to consider. A programmable thermostat can adjust temperatures based on the time of day or week, saving you a bundle on your cooling costs when used properly. Smart thermostats go a step further by adding Wi-Fi connectivity and a self-learning feature that automatically creates programs based on your observed cooling habits and preferences.

Keep in mind that choosing many of these features can increase the cost of your air conditioner. If you're on a tight budget, you may have to choose carefully and decide which features are a must-have and which features you can do without.

Don't Forget About Efficiency

In addition to being in the right size and having the right set of features, your next air conditioner should also be energy-efficient. Making sure your next air conditioner purchase is energy-efficient can help you save plenty of money in the long run.

Fortunately, air conditioners sold throughout the country are required to meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the Department of Energy. Currently, air conditioners sold in Louisiana and the rest of the south must meet a minimum SEER rating of 14.

If you have any questions about finding the right air conditioner for your home, don't hesitate to contact the professionals at Holstead's today.

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