Today's AC can offer you a great deal of more efficiency, comfort and safety. But not all manufacturers incorporate come of the best features. Focusing on just the price, SEER or install date may mean you miss out on long term benefits.
Look for these important features in your next Central AC system:
* SEER and EER - these are efficiency ratings - like MPG for cars. The higher - the better. But don't stop there.
* Variable speed fan. When installed correctly, and set properly, this feature helps maintain a more-even temperature in your home, and helps clean the air in your home 24-hours/day. If you can afford it, this is a must-have feature. Ask your representaive to quote you an AC with a variable speed fan.
* 2-stage AC - In NJ we get a lot of days where the air is humid, but the temperature is not too hot. So we really need more de-humidification rather then the lowering of the temperature. A 2-stage AC cen better reduce home humidity while saving you energy! Plus it saves you energy.
* Size matter - Yes, it does matter! The industry practice is to oversize the AC system. Oversized system will cycle on and off more frequently reduce less humidity and you will have rooms that are hotter then other rooms. A properly sized system will have a longer run cycle, reduce more moisture and better even out the temperature throughout the home. So how does one size an AC? Sizing is not done by sq ft, and it is not done by number of rooms. Well, that is how it was done back in the 1970's. Today, the correct way to size an AC system is to perform a Manual J. A Manual J is a detailed engineering study and is required by most municipalies though few actually enforce this requirement. Often the Manual J study is done AFTER you place the order to the AC system. Ask to see the actual Manual J report before the install begins. The Manual J must be preoduced by a software compliant with ACCA requirements.
* Quiet Operation: Today's better AC systems can operate by as much as 1/3 less noise then just 10 years ago. Ask to see the decible ratings on the proposed AC condenser. A quieter system will allow those outside to better enjoy the summer outdoors.