I often get asked questions, like… “what brand of air conditioner should I consider buying?”, “What's the best brand?”, and, “Which AC Unit Should I Choose?”
My answers to these questions usually catch people by surprise, “It’s not about the brand of air conditioner, but rather about picking the right contractor”. Most people believe that when they replace their central air conditioner, it's much like buying a new refrigerator. Nothing can be further than the truth.
When you buy a refrigerator, the design and manufacturing was done to very tight standards in a controlled environment. Each unit off the line is exactly the same. You buy it, plug it in and BOOM – it works!
Your central heating and cooling system is not one contained unit. It is a series of individual components that are selected and configured by the HVAC contractor based on the size and capacity needed in your home. You will, however, need to select whether you want an air conditioner or a heat pump, and just how energy-efficient you want it to be. Keep in mind: the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the product – in turn, the higher the cost. Once the system is installed, then it is time to erase the factory settings* and fine tune for performance.
To further complicate matters, in whole-house thinking, the ductwork, ventilation, and thermostat are important factors in your new system delivering on the “home comfort” you were promised.
*According to local and national studies, the typical central heating and air conditioning system operates at less than 2/3 of its advertised capacity. This means, if you bought a 3-ton system and it was not fine-tuned, you could be actually getting less than 2 tons of capacity delivered to your home, all while paying to operate a 3-ton system for the next 15 years. It's like buying a Prius to get 50 miles to the gallon and getting less than 25.
I hope you found this worthwhile. Stay cool, and thank you for your time.
Owner of McCullough Heating & Air