Buying the perfect AC 101

Here’s the 411 on what you’ll need to know when making your purchase

Air conditioning. It is the greatest invention known to mankind, rivaled only by the internet. Sure, that statement may be a bit of an exaggeration, but let’s face it, AC is very important. It cools our bodies on those swelteringly hot summer days. You know the type of hot day I’m talking about, where your skin sticks to leather like Velcro. Nobody wants to stick to leather, which why it is important to find the AC unit that is right for you and your home.

But how do you know which AC is right for you? There are so many options out there, how do you wade through the myriad AC units to find the one that is compatible for your home? This article will provide you with some tips about what you need to look for when you’re buying an AC unit.  


Difference between HVAC and AC

As you search for the ideal AC unit, you are going to come across the acronyms AC and HVAC a lot. Before you start looking at units, it helps to know not only what these acronyms mean, but also the difference between them.

AC stands for “air conditioning,” while HVAC stands for “heating, ventilation and air conditioning.” The difference between the two is…nothing. The two terms are similar and are often used interchangeably. So, don’t worry too much when you’re confronted with these two acronyms.


What do I need to look for?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for an AC unit. First and foremost, central air conditioning units are the most prevalent AC system. They are perfect for homes and even larger buildings. Here are a few central AC units you can look at to get an idea of the type of system that will fit your needs.


However, a central AC unit might not be the ideal unit. Deciding what type of air-conditioning unit is right for your home and lifestyle is a very important step. There are four main types of AC units, and they are: wall-mounted, window-mounted, window/wall-mounted, and portable. Wall-mounted units are easy to repair and replace, fit more securely than window-mounted units, and they don’t cover any windows, which allows sunlight to get in; but, they can be costly to install, and some units don’t come with the exterior metal sleeve you’ll need when installing the unit.

Window-mounted units are great because they don’t cost a lot, and they are easy to install. One of the main cons of the window-mounted unit is that it can block natural light from entering a room.

Window/wall-mounted units are versatile and ideal for people buying a unit for an apartment they are renting but would like to install it to a wall in a home at a later date. The main issue with these is that you might have a tough time finding a unit that comes with a window installation kit.

Portable units can easily move from room to room and can easily be stored away at the end of summer. These units do take floor space however, and they can be priced higher than some window units.


Are there any options to go green?

I’m glad you asked that question mystery person. Yes, there are companies that manufacture AC units with a focus on environmental stewardship. These companies look to create AC systems that will limit the user’s carbon footprint. They look to optimize your energy use and bring down the price of your utility bills. And who doesn’t want cheaper bills?



Is there anything else I’ll need to know smart guy?

You’ll also need to determine how much AC you’ll need. By that I mean, how many rooms do you need to cool? Cooling a bachelor pad requires a different system than one that cools a typical suburban home.  Any store that sells AC units will have single-room and multi-room systems, so they can provide the right system for any situation.

Furthermore, if you’re buying an AC unit to cool a single room, it’ll also help to figure out the square-footage of the room. The cooling capability of a unit is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). AC units cover a wide range of BTUs, which means it’s important to find one that’s the right fit for your room so that you’re not spending too much money.

Air conditioning units come in all shapes and sizes, and they all serve a different purpose. But now that you know what to look for, finding the right AC unit for you and your home will be easy and breezy (like your new AC unit).



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