When you’re getting ready to replace your air conditioner, using an HVAC professional to make your A/C upgrade is the best route to go. It’s fine to start exploring your options on your own, but before making the final selection, you’ll need expert input for this big-ticket item. Air conditioners are complicated systems, and you’ll get the most return from your investment if the system is properly sized, installed and maintained.
Going by the system that’s already in your home or deciding based solely on the square footage of your home can be misleading. HVAC technicians use a system called Manual J that takes into account these factors:
- Cubic footage for the space to be conditioned;
- Windows, their size, placement, energy efficiency and orientation;
- Insulation levels;
- Air infiltration;
- Ductwork efficiency;
- Number of appliances and types of lighting, all of which create heat;
- Preferred temperatures;
- Outdoor landscaping;
- Lifestyle factors; and
- Number of home occupants.
Once these elements have been calculated, the HVAC expert can tell you how large your A/C upgrade needs to be to efficiently cool your home.
Most manufacturers of air conditioners, with the exception of portable A/C units, require a licensed HVAC technician to install them to maintain the warranty. Air conditioners require high-voltage wiring and installation of regulated refrigerants, taking the installation out of the realm of do-it-yourselfers. Modifications of your ductwork may also require the expertise of an HVAC professional. HVAC contractors must be bonded, licensed and insured, which protects the consumer when making an A/C upgrade.
Since these systems operate most efficiently with precision engineering, they need periodic maintenance to keep them running at the manufacturer’s specifications. HVAC experts have the skills and knowledge to keep them clean and running smoothly, lowering your electrical bills and prolonging the equipment life.
Ernst Heating & Cooling serves the Metro-East area and can help you make a sound investment in an A/C upgrade. We’ve been providing HVAC services since 1951.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C upgrades and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.