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If you are interested in replacing your air conditioner, and are trying to do most of it yourself, I will do everything I can to help get you started!
An important first step is sizing the space/slot where the air conditioner will go (and air conditioner sizing). This first depends on whether you are interested in a window, wall, or a central air conditioner. If it’s a window air conditioner you’re interested in, you have to measure the window space, when the window is both open and closed (don’t count on a closed window to support the weight of the air conditioner). If it’s a wall air conditioner, seriously consider whether cutting a hole in the wall is a viable option. Sometimes choosing a wall air conditioner that looks good without having to be stuck inside a wall, is the better alternative to a messy and costly remodeling job, altercations with a landlord, as well as money off your deposit. If it’s a central air conditioner you want, and you live in a house, it’s important to size both the condenser that will go on the roof or the ground outside the house, the ducts and the space they will go in, as well as the vents that will blow the air into the rooms you want cooled.
Doing this before calling a professional will help make you sound more informed (and harder to swindle), and will also help you narrow down specific options and prices (while talking to a professional or doing your own research online). All of these things will save you time and money, before you even decide to commit to a specific window, wall, or central air conditioner and/or heater!
Although much of the focus of going Green is on solar panels, electric cars, and public transportation, there’s actually a lot you can do at home to reduce your carbon footprint while saving hundreds on energy bills.
A green choice can almost be made during the purchasing stage of a central heater and a/c. Newer central air conditioners and heating system are naturally more efficient, as more companies realize that people are becoming more conscious of their energy consumption. In particular, if you are in the market for a new HVAC, look for the energy star mark. These really are indicative of a more energy efficient unit. A slightly higher cost will certainly be offset by the hundreds of dollars you will save on home energy bills, in the long run.
Air conditioning replacement is a big move that requires careful deliberation. There are many factors crucial to a successful project.
Ask yourself why you are interested in replacement.
- Do you currently have an HVAC system? Is it not functioning properly? Are you simply looking for a more efficient/powerful A/C?
If your central heating and air unit is not working properly, but you were satisfied with it when it was, don’t dismiss repair as a viable option.
- If your centralized air conditioning doesn’t require replacement of major and/or most parts, you could save hundreds of dollars by repairing instead of replacing it.
Call at least two different companies to get multiple opinions, or ask a company to send at least two different HVAC repair and/or replacement specialists.
- Having multiple professional opinions will lessen the chance of a misdiagnoses, and greatly increase the likelihood that an exact problem is zeroed-in on– whether it’s a specific part that needs to be replaced, filter that needs to be cleaned, and anything in between.
If you are set on replacement, and that is in fact your only option, consult with HVAC specialists regarding options. Consider:
- Whether a system has an energy star mark (http://www.energystar.gov/). Appliances and HVAC systems that carry the mark are in fact more energy efficient, which translates to hundreds of dollars saved on energy bills, in the long run. Remember that an HVAC system uses up the biggest percentage of your home’s energy.
- Whether your home currently has duct work.
- Whether the condenser will be located outside or on the roof (you may need to look into your city’s permit requirements).
Hopefully this helps getting you started, and sets you on the right track to a successful project. Do not hesitate to call with any questions!