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4 Things to Always Consider Before Buying a New Air Conditioner

Whether you’re preparing to install a new air conditioning unit or replace the one you currently own, it’s not a purchase to be taken lightly. Not only is it one of the most expensive purchases you’ll be making for your home, but your air conditioner will also play a vital role in your daily comfort during a decent portion of every year.

Before buying an air conditioner, make sure you’ve considered each of the following so that you can get the most for your money:

1. Buying Online VS. Buying Through a Contractor/Company

2. Finding a Reputable HVAC Contractor/Company

3. Investing In a Reliable Model

4. Selecting the Correct Size for Your Cooling Needs

Rather speak one-on-one with an expert? At Hutton Power & Light, LLC, we assist home and business owners with top-quality air conditioning installations and offer standardized, flat-rate pricing.

1. Buying Online VS. Buying Through a Contractor/Company

Many people consider purchasing their air conditioner through an online retailer and then hiring an HVAC company to install the unit after the fact. This route can save you a considerable amount of money on the unit itself. However, when choosing this option, many homeowners forget to take the following points into consideration:

  • To install your unit, a professional contractor will first need to obtain any necessary permits and abide by state and local codes.

  • Some contractors may choose not to install any HVAC units that they themselves have not supplied.

  • Some manufacturer warranties must go through a contractor who both supplied and installed your unit.

  • In other instances, contractors may refuse to install your unit if they find that it is the wrong capacity or is in some other way a poor match for your home’s cooling needs.

Buying your new air conditioner through a contractor can help you avoid buying a unit that is a poor match for your home. By providing you with an in-person consultation, an HVAC professional can assess your home’s specific cooling needs, based on factors like its square footage, ceiling height, number of stories, etc. Their assessment will help you identify the best unit to keep your home comfortable with max efficiency.

2. Finding a Reputable HVAC Contractor/Company

Even if you purchase the best-possible AC unit for your home, if it isn’t installed properly, it won’t work as efficiently or last as long as it should. Finding a good company to install your AC is key.

Obtain a quote from a few different companies so that you can compare them, and research each company on sites like Google Reviews (which does not filter their reviews) and the Better Business Bureau. Apart from looking at the cost of the unit and installation, examine the manufacturer warranties as well.

A reputable company will be able to present you with different units based on your budget and may also offer financing. They should provide you with a written bid or estimate for the entire job--do NOT accept a “verbal contract.” Also, beware of any company that tries to get you to “sign on the spot.” If they truly are a reputable company, they should have more than enough work already and should not need to resort to high-pressure sales tactics.

3. Investing In a Reliable Model

When shopping for a new AC unit, it’s important to beware of buying a cheap, unreliable unit. If an air conditioning unit’s price seems too good to be true, it probably is. The lower cost has likely been compensated for by cutting corners during manufacturing. Whereas it may seem like you are saving money up front, that cost could come back in the form of more frequent repairs, higher cooling costs, and needing an AC replacement earlier than anticipated.

If you’re concerned that the quote given to you by a contractor is overly pricey, get more quotes so that you can compare them. Keep in mind that the best long-term investment is not always the cheapest quote but often the product and service you get from the most reliable contractor.

4. Selecting the Correct Size for Your Cooling Needs

In order for an air conditioner to function as efficiently as possible, it needs to be the right size (or tonnage) for the space it needs to cool. Many people incorrectly assume that the bigger an AC unit is, the more efficiently it will cool their home. In fact, an AC unit that’s too large for a home can end up short cycling, which puts excess strain on the AC’s components, shortens its lifespan, and creates uneven temperatures throughout the home.

In order to find out what tonnage (how powerful) the ideal AC for your home should be, more than simply your home’s square footage must be taken into consideration. When performing an in-person assessment of your home’s HVAC¬†needs, a professional technician¬†will also be considering factors such as your home’s location and how much insulation it has. They may even ask to access areas such as your crawl space to get a better grasp of how much power your AC will need.

If you’re in need of a reputable HVAC company to help you buy and install your next air conditioner, get in touch with Hutton Power & Light, LLC by calling (757) 600-6605 or contacting us online. We have built our reputation on honesty and integrity—no matter the service you need, we always make it right. Just ask our customers!

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