How To Buy An Air Conditioner You Wont Regret

We’ve all had buyer’s remorse. Some buying decisions aren’t too devastating; a bad meal wastes maybe $5-$15.

But getting a poor central air conditioner has much nastier consequences—10 to 15 years of high-energy bills and poor comfort in the summer.

Now THAT is buyer’s remorse you should avoid at all cost.

In this article, we’ll show you 4 important factors you need to consider when buying an air conditioner you won’t regret.

Start with the energy efficiency rating—SEER

You know what no one loves? High utility bills in the scorching Georgia summer. That’s why it’s smart to invest in an air conditioner with a higher SEER rating.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. It tells you how efficiently the air conditioner cools your home compared to other air conditioners.

The SEER rating ranges from 13-22 (13 being the least efficient, 22 being the most efficient).

To see how much money you’ll save with a high SEER-rated AC, use these calculator tools:
Learn more about the SEER rating.

Get the right size

Remember the story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”? Goldilocks needed to find a bed that was “just right” for her. Similarly, your home needs an air conditioner that’s sized just right for your home.

By “size” we mean, it’s ability to cool your home (or cooling capacity, in contractor-speak).

Air conditioner size is measured in tons. Most residential air conditioners fall somewhere on a scale of 1.5 to 5 tons.

Size is important because:
  • If the air conditioner is too small, it will run too long and never cool your home.
  • If the air conditioner is too large, it will cool your home too quickly, causing it to cycle on and off constantly, and doesn’t remove enough humidity.

To find the right size/cooling capacity, a professional contractor should perform the ACCA's Manual J Residential Load Calculation. This calculation takes into account multiple factors to find the size that is “just right” for your home.

Get a quality installation

Installing the air conditioner properly is just as important as the quality of the air conditioner itself. According to ENERGY STAR, common installation problems can increase your heating and cooling costs up to 30% and drastically shorten the life of your air conditioner.

To make sure this does not happen to you, read our article: 3 tips for getting a quality air conditioner installation. This article tells you:
  • How to find a quality contractor
  • How to ask a contractor all the right questions
  • What you need to get in writing

Don’t forget to maintain it

Your air conditioner needs regular maintenance just like your car. That’s why ENERGY STAR recommends that your air conditioner have professional maintenance a minimum of once a year. Twice per year is even better and is the most popular plan.

Yearly maintenance will:
  • Keep energy bills low
  • Extend the air conditioner’s life
  • Avoid voiding the air conditioner’s warranty

To ensure you always get this maintenance, we suggest you get a maintenance plan when you buy your new air conditioner.

Need a professional’s help?

Call Ragsdale today at 770-443-1821 or contact us online for a free in-home professional consultation and quote.


Ragsdale Heating, Air and Plumbing has been serving the metro Atlanta area for over 20 years. Contact us online for more information on how we can help you.

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