What to consider when replacing your AC unit

Published by Parisa Ostovari

HVAC tech testing ac unit

Deciding to replace the AC unit in your home is a big decision. And if you haven’t purchased a new air conditioner or furnace before it can feel like a stressful buying process. But it doesn’t have to be. To help prepare you for this purchasing decision, use the guide below to help you through the process of selecting and buying a new AC for your home.

Evaluate your current AC

As you prepare to purchase a new AC, it’s important to evaluate your current unit. What do you like or not like? A few questions to ask yourself are:

  • Is my current air conditioner creating a lot of outside noise?
  • Does my AC keep up with the cooling needs of my home?
  • Does my home feel humid or sticky inside when the air conditioner is running?

These are important questions to ask yourself. The decision on which style of air conditioning unit to purchase should be based more on how much comfort you want to drive into the home than gaining cost savings from efficiency. This is because the yearly cost difference between an AC with a 16 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and an AC with a 20 SEER unit is typically under a hundred dollars. We recommend homeowners focus on selecting an AC unit that meets their comfort needs.

Consider the age of your HVAC system

If both your air conditioner and furnace are at least 12 years old, you will want to consider not just replacing your AC, but your whole HVAC system. If you have an older furnace with a standard motor, you will have limited options in the type of air conditioner that will be compatible with your furnace. Replacing your entire HVAC system will provide you with the maximum number of choices when selecting a heating and cooling system for your home.

Which type of air conditioner do I need?

There are three types of air conditioners to consider when choosing a new unit – single-stage, two-stage and variable-speed. The main difference between each type of air conditioner is the type of compressor they use. Here is an overview of the differences between each type of compressor:

  • A singlestage air conditioner has only one compressor speed. The unit is either switched on and running or switched off completely, with nothing in between. You can replace this type of AC with almost any type of unit on the market. A single-stage air conditioner is going to be louder and not as efficient as other types of units.
  • Two-stage air conditioner can run on a high- or a low-speed setting. Because the low setting is usually enough to keep your indoor temperature stable during a mild summer day, you can save energy by running at a slower speed more often. It kicks into high speed only when your cooling demand is great enough on really hot summer days. A two-stage AC is also going to be a little bit quieter and a little more efficient.
  • A variable-speed air conditioner is going to provide the best level of indoor comfort. This type of AC isn’t restricted to specific settings; it can run at any speed within a set range. This allows it to choose the precise speed that’s most efficient for the given cooling demand. You’ll enjoy quiet operation, lower humidity levels inside, more stable temperature and optimal energy efficiency.

An HVAC professional will help you choose the right AC for your home.

As you prepare to purchase a new AC for your home, be sure to choose a quality, licensed HVAC contractor to work with. Take the time to research local companies and find out what products they sell and what services they offer. A good contractor will take the time to sit down and work with you to select the best AC unit for your home. And they will properly install and maintain your system to get the best efficiency over time.

To learn more about choosing the right HVAC system for your home, contact us at bellbrothers.com or call 515-244-8911.