If your old air conditioner finally died, you're probably anxious to put in a new one so your home stays nice and cool. Before you rush out and buy a new AC, there are some things you may want to consider. Here are some tips for getting a new HVAC unit and how to prepare for the installation.
Check The Ducts
This is the perfect time to have your ducts inspected and cleaned if necessary. Your ducts may still be in good shape since they don't have any moving parts that can wear out. However, if you have coil ducts, they may be caked with dust or droppings from rodents. They may even have rips or holes in them from pests in the attic. You want to make sure your ducts are in perfect condition, or your new air conditioner won't keep your home as cool as you'd like, and it won't run as efficiently.
Another thing you may want to consider about your ducts is whether you want to change their configuration. Maybe you want to add air conditioning to a converted garage or basement and need to add new ducts to the area. If your kids have left the nest, you may want to close off ducts leading to bedrooms that are no longer in use. You can always cool them with a window air conditioner when the kids come home, and you'll save money by not cooling rooms when no one is in them.
Enhance Your Insulation
When the contractor comes to your home to give you an estimate for your new HVAC, he or she will calculate the best size for your new unit based on the square footage of your home and the amount of insulation in your house. Take a look at your insulation and see if you can improve it. This could save you money upfront by allowing you to buy a smaller HVAC, and it will also save money on your monthly power bills by making your home more energy efficient.
Choose Your New Air Conditioner
A central air conditioning system with ducts is a popular way to cool homes, but you have another choice. If your current ducts are bad, you might be able to save money by going with a ductless system instead. Rather than cold air blowing through ducts, the cold air blows out of fans that are mounted on the walls of your home. Depending on the size of your home, you may need multiple fans. However, if you just want to cool a small space, you may only need one. The fan connects to the condenser that sits outside, just like a traditional air conditioning unit. The only difference is that the cold air passes through a tube that goes through the wall and straight to the fan, rather than going through ducts and coming out a register.
The first step in getting a new air conditioner installed is to call a contractor and get a quote and some advice on the best unit for your needs. The contractor will calculate the correct size for the space you want to cool because a unit that is too small or too large will not work efficiently at keeping you cool. To learn more, check out the sites of HVAC companies in your area.