Well, what’s it going to be? Do you want energy efficiency or performance? Year-round heating and cooling or a powerful dedicating cooling machine? Ducts or no ducts? Ground-source or air-source heat pump? If you’ve already begun the process of researching the various systems that are available for installation in your home, then you may be aware of the sheer diversity of systems on the residential market. While it’s good to have options, it can also make the process of selection stressful as you’re apt to want the best possible system for the size and layout of your home as well as for your budget. It’s best to consult with a professional early on, so you can eliminate those systems that would be too expensive, not powerful enough, or impossible to install on your property.
Choosing the right air conditioner for your home means weighing your options carefully. You have to decide what’s most important to you and you absolutely must make sure that your new system is appropriately sized. Here are some things to think about.
- Cooling capacity. All air conditioners, no matter what make or model, have a cooling capacity that gives you a sense of what they’re capable of. This is often given in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and it’s imperative that your living space be properly matched to an air conditioner. While you definitely don’t want a system that is too small, you also don’t want a system that is overly large. Improperly sized systems lead to inefficient cooling, poor performance, and even increased risk of repairs as your system short-cycles or struggles to cool your home.
- Ductwork. If you’re at all hesitant about ductwork in the home, whether for reasons of indoor air quality or energy efficiency, then you don’t have to compromise. Ductless mini splits are quickly gaining in popularity for their efficiency ratings and versatile cooling capacity.
- Cooling and heating? Another consideration that you may want to keep in mind is that several cooling systems can also handle your heating duties during the winter. Considering our relatively mild winters, this is often a great benefit. Heat pumps as well as ductless mini splits work this way.