Buying a new A/C system can be very intimidating. We want to help make the buying process easier for you so we created a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Step 1: Determine if you need a new system.
Step 2: Evaluate your options.
Step 3: Choose the system that's right for you.
When shopping for a new A/C system, we recommend buying a high-efficiency unit. It may cost more up front, but the unit will eventually pay for itself with the money you'll save on your electric bill. You can print out this comparison worksheet to determine the estimated payback period.
In most Florida homes, air conditioning accounts for approximately 50 percent or more of the annual electric bill. Here are some tips to start controlling your energy consumption.
- Keep your thermostat at 78° with the fan switch on "auto."
- Turn ceiling fans off when no one is in the room. Ceiling fans do not actually cool a room. They just make you feel cooler.
- Clean or change your A/C filter once a month.
- Maintain proper airflow through your system.
- Keep sunlight out during summer months.
- Call us to access your A/C ducts for leaks.
- Consider buying a new A/C system. The older your A/C system is, the less efficient it is.
This glossary of commonly used air-conditioning terms will make it easier to talk to your contractor.
Straight cool system - An air-conditioning system that includes a cooling cycle only. Gas, oil, or electric strip heating may be included in straight cool systems.
Strip Heating (or resistance heating) - A form of heating, where air is blown over electrically heated metal coils and circulated into the living space.
Heat pump system - Cooling and heating system that provides a cooling cycle during the summer and a heating cycle during the winter.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) - A measure of the average annual cooling efficiency of an air conditioner or heat pump. We recommend a minimum SEER of 14.0.
HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) - A measure of the average annual heating efficiency of a heat pump. We recommend an HSPF of greater than 7.7.
The higher the SEER or HSPF, the more efficient the model.
These are units of measure that determine an A/C system's size:
- BTU (British Thermal Unit) - Used to describe how much cooling capacity a home needs.
- Ton - A measure of the size or cooling capacity of an air conditioner. One ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs.