What to Look For in an Affordable and Efficient AC System

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Whether you’re building a custom home, getting a renovation, or just considering your options compared to what you have now, the AC is an important and expensive part of the home that shouldn’t be tackled without planning. Making the right choice now can save you a great deal of money later down the line. Here are a few things to look for to make sure your AC is going to be cost effective and efficient for your home.

Check the Energy Efficiency

Whenever you are looking at styles or brands, you should absolutely check the ENERGY STAR rating. This program was made to help Americans better evaluate the energy efficiency of a variety of home appliances and systems, with the goal of rewarding eco-friendly sellers. With this program, you can find recommended products as well as learn best practices for your home to save as much energy as possible.

Match with Your Home Size

Different sized homes need to have the right sized AC units for best energy efficiency. Too large, and you’re wasting energy just keeping the thing running. Too small, and the unit will overtax itself just trying to keep up with demand. While the ENERGY STAR program has many efficiency tips on how to find the right scale of unit to home, you can also speak with local contractors and air conditioner vendors to help you get a more personalized size estimate for your particular home. Number of rooms, square footage, and even floor plan types all make a difference in what kind of AC you need.

Compatibility with Smart Thermostats

Another major selling point for an AC’s efficiency is how compatible it is with smart home technology. Smart thermostats allow homeowners to adjust the temperature of the home to match the time of day, then set it on a loop to automatically update itself accordingly. This saves energy as your AC doesn’t have to wait for your body to notice the change in temperature before making small adjustments to keep things cool. While most modern units are compatible, you’ll want to make a point to ask if your chosen AC unit is compatible both with smart home technology and your preferred smart home brand, in particular.

How Long Will It Last?

Of course, just about any AC unit is too expensive if it’s going to need to be replaced or repaired too frequently. While matching the home size to the unit plays a major part of this, you should also consider the age of the unit, the estimated lifespan given by the seller, and how much of a load it can take in regards to your particular climate. Most central AC’s should last about 12-15 years with very basic maintenance, such as occasional duct and coil cleanings. If the estimate is significantly lower than this or the unit is already nearing 8-10 years old, you may be wasting your money on something that just won’t last.

Acting as the lungs of the home, your AC is a major part of both the cost and the structure of any house. This affects the air you breathe, the noise level of your home, and your monthly utility costs. Save money in the long run by investing in something affordable but high quality so that you don’t have to worry about unexpected costs down the line.


Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.


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