May 2nd, 2018
When you’re faced with the need to replace an aging air conditioner or purchase a unit for a new build, there are many factors that you’ll need to consider in order to ensure you are making the right choice. Air conditioners are a major investment in your home, both financially and in your overall home comfort, so you definitely want to choose wisely in order to get the most value for your money. That’s why we’ve decided to put together this resource for you.
In this article, we’ll go through the different factors that you should consider when evaluating the various options for air conditioners that you have to select from. Depending on your needs, and the specific design and layout of your home, there are many things that can have positive impacts on the effectiveness of your air conditioner and overall comfort in each of the rooms of your house. From the style of air conditioner unit, to the cooling capacity, the orientation of your home, and even the local climate can play a significant role in which design and model of air conditioner makes the most sense for you to have installed. Now, let’s take a look at these factors in more detail.
Style of Air Conditioner
There are several different types of air conditioner that are used to provide the optimum level of cooling for various styles, sizes, and layouts of homes. Some air conditioners are best suited to cooling smaller, enclosed spaces or individual rooms. Others are more efficient at cooling multiple rooms simultaneously or maintaining the comfort level across the entire home.
You’re likely familiar with this style of air conditioner, as you will see them protruding from windows of homes and apartments of all types. Window air conditioner units are generally inexpensive and convenient for a wide variety of uses. Window units allow you to quickly cool down individual rooms or spaces that are excessively warm, with very little installation time or alterations needed to get them up and running.
Ductless Mini Split
Similar in concept to a window air conditioner, ductless mini split units are also designed for cooling smaller areas and individual rooms but are able to be installed in locations where there is not a suitable window and allow more flexibility in where the unit can be placed. Ductless mini split air conditioners only require a small hole through the wall for the ventilation conduit, making them an ideal solution for cooling a wide range of spaces.
Central Air Conditioner
For whole-home cooling, nothing is more effective and efficient than a central air conditioning system. These systems consist of a condenser unit and fan, which is the equipment that you commonly see installed on the side of homes, as well as a heat exchanger installed in to the ductwork connected to your homes furnace. These units are controlled directly by your home thermostat and are the best way to achieve and maintain consistent cooling of your entire home, delivering reliable comfort on even the hottest and most humid summer days.
Central air conditioners are also a wise investment, as they are the solution that adds the most value to your home. In addition, because the central air conditioner system operates in such a way that the whole house is cooled at the same time from a single unit, it is able to achieve much higher levels of energy efficiency when compared to how much it would cost for other systems to achieve the same results.
Size of Air Conditioner
Just like a bigger engine in a car will deliver more horsepower when you step on the pedal, the size of the air conditioner you choose will determine just how much cooling it will be able to pump out. However, it’s important to note that bigger isn’t always better. As we mentioned in our article on the topic of the size of heating and cooling equipment, choosing a bigger air conditioner just to get more cooling can actually cost much more than you’d expect in the long run. Of course, the size and cooling capacity of an air conditioner will most certainly impact both the purchase price as well as the operating costs, so it’s important that you choose the best combination for your needs.
Air conditioners are rated for cooling capacity using units called ‘BTU’s, and a bigger BTU rating will mean that the air conditioner will be able to put out more cooling than one with a smaller BTU rating in the same amount of time. This is where some confusion can come in to play, because many people instinctively lean towards the bigger BTU ratings, even when their home doesn’t really need it, thinking that it will simply do a better job of cooling. Unfortunately, this logic doesn’t really hold true. The reality is that each home has a ‘sweet spot’ for the required BTU ratings, and your home comfort professional will use a precise calculation to determine what the correct rating is. Avoid the temptation to go bigger than what is really needed, and it will pay off down the road on your energy bills.
Other Installation Considerations
Aside from the factors that are directly related to the air conditioner itself, it’s important to be aware of all the other things that are needed to correctly install and setup a new air conditioner. Electrical will need to be connected to the unit, and alterations may be necessary to the ductwork in your home in order to ensure everything is working properly. There may be other things that need to be done that aren’t always obvious at first glance, so having a professional consultation with a home comfort expert that you trust is very helpful in making sure you save as much money as possible up front, and over the life of your air conditioner equipment. It’s always best to make sure that you’ve got a complete picture of what is needed before you commit in order to get the most value from your investment.
Energy Incentives and Rebates
It's possible that you may be able to take advantage of rebates or energy incentives that are sometimes offered through goverment agencies or regulatory organizations. There are many initiatives that are intended to encourage homeowners to upgrade home comfort equipment for greater energy efficiency and reduced power consumption, so be sure to consult your home comfort expert for advice on which incentives are currently available that you may qualify for. After all, the cost savings would be well worth the extra little bit of paperwork.
Whether you’re refurbishing an older home with a newer, high-efficiency air conditioning system, or are selecting the best possible air conditioner for a brand-new home, we’re sure you’ll agree that there are many things to take in to consideration. Choosing the right brand, style, capacity, and accompanying accessories for your new air conditioner can make a big difference in the overall comfort that it will bring to your home and the savings that it will bring to your energy bill.
The first step to ensuring that you have all the information you need to picking the right air conditioner is to consult with a home comfort expert that you trust. Our professional home comfort techs would be glad to start a conversation with you on the different types of air conditioner that work best in the Ontario climate and would make the most sense for your specific home. Contact us today to arrange for a consultation and have your questions answered by one of our experienced team members.