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Homeowner's HEATING & COOLING LIBRARY

Choosing an air conditioner that fits your home.

Shopping For Air Conditioners
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


With today's advanced technology, selecting an air condition has become a complicated task, requiring much research and planning. If you neglect to put time and energy into selecting the right air conditioner, you will soon pay for it when you begin to lose money due to a poor choice.

There are several things to consider when shopping for an air conditioner. One of the most important things to pay attention to is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). According to the current National Appliance Efficiency Standard, new homes require a minimum SEER of 10.0 for air conditioners installed. The SEER rating goes from 10-19. The higher the rating, the more expensive the appliance, and the less expensive your utilities bills will be.

Many homeowners will purchase an air conditioner with a SEER of 10 simply because it is less expensive than one with a higher SEER. However, it should be taken into account that the operating costs of an air conditioner rated at 10 will end up costing you more than if you were to just put out more money in the beginning for a higher SEER rating. Think of it as purchasing a car with bad gas mileage.

Another important thing to consider is the climate in which you live and how long you plan to live there. For those of you living in a climate that requires you to use your air conditioner a lot, you should seriously consider the SEER rating. Also, if you plan to live in your home for more than three years, a higher efficiency unit will suit you best.

In addition, you should pay close attention to the warranties available. A warranty covers the performance for a specific amount of time. If a part fails during the warranty period, the...more

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New Air Conditioning Systems For Old Homes
Preventing Indoor Air Pollution
Programmable Thermostats
Replacing Water Heaters
Sealing Air and Moisture Leaks
Shopping For Air Conditioners
Solar Water Heaters
Water Heaters

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