Originally written for Hawaii Fundraising Company that we had the pleasure to service!
Buying an air-conditioning and/or heating system is an expensive investment so you need to take your time in picking the right model. You also need to educate yourself regarding what factors to look for so you can make the right choice.
How to Buy an Air Conditioner
The following are the key considerations when shopping for an air conditioner:
1. Energy Efficiency
The efficiency of an air conditioner is measured by the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) which is the ratio of the cooling capacity (BTU/hour) to the power input (watts). Efficient air conditioners have high SEERs and an increase of 1.0 on the SEER scale means an increase of 10% in energy efficiency.
Look for a unit with at least an SEER of 13 and it should have an Energy Star label, which indicates that it has passed the strict guidelines set by the US EPA and the Department of Energy for energy efficiency.
The needed cooling capacity would depend on the size of the room. Most room air conditioners need anywhere from 5500 to 14000 BTU/hour. A common mistake that people make when looking for an air conditioner is that they buy one that is too big for the room thinking that the bigger it is, the better it can be in cooling their room. But this only wastes energy and makes the unit less effective. Here’s a table you can use as guide when it comes to the appropriate size of air conditioner to buy.
3. Other Factors Read more