Choosing an Air Conditioner

by Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

Selecting an air conditioner for your home is a major decision, one that should not be taken lightly. It is an important home investment. When the summer heat is at its highest, you’ll want your family to have the best, most reliable air conditioner possible. Here are a few things to consider before choosing:

How can I be sure my AC unit is the right size for my home?

A good, qualified contractor will determine the optimum size for your home by making a careful study of your cooling requirements, like window dimensions and exposure, floorspace, insulation and local climate, the direction your home faces and even the amount of your home’s exterior shaded by trees.

Obviously, an air conditioner that’s too small won’t keep your home sufficiently cool. But what many don’t realize is that an oversized system is just as bad. Oversizing will cause your air conditioning to cycle (turn on and off) more often than needed, wasting expensive energy and putting undue strain on the compressor and other components. An oversized unit will not do a very good job of removing humidity from your home causing a damp, cave-like feeling. If your home is unevenly cooled, there is a good chance that it is oversized.

Which air conditioners are the most energy efficient?

Today, air conditioner manufacturers are required by law to evaluate and rate equipment according to its energy efficiency. This rating is known in the industry as a SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the equipment will be. Most new homes with central air come equipped with a standard builder’s model. However, when replacement becomes necessary, property owners can upgrade their air conditioning by specifying a more energy-efficient system. Depending on the age and condition of your existing system, a new unit can easily cut your electricity usage in half.

Are some air conditioners built better than others?

The compressor is the heart of a condensing unit. On a hot day, it works long and hard. I recommend an air conditioner utilizing the highly advanced Scroll compressor. Scroll compressors are recognized by the industry as the leader in reliability, efficiency and quiet operation. Also, look for a full, wrap-around, louvered cabinet that will protect the outdoor coil from becoming damaged by hail and the lawn mower. The best units come standard with the best warranty of at least 10 years on all parts.

Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

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Questions are always welcome. For free help with your heating/cooling system, ask the experts at or call 440-526-7310.

Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.