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Choosing an AC System

Choosing the Right AC System
There’s a lot that goes into selecting an efficient, effective air conditioning system. The AC system that keeps your neighbor’s home comfortable during our hot, humid Atlanta summers may not deliver the same level of comfort in your own home. And while price and budget are important factors, they should never be the only deciding factors.

Whether you’re considering a standard furnace-based system or a heat pump, our Design Specialists are ready to walk you through the AC system selection process. Here are some of the points they’ll cover.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): This is the manufacturer’s rating of how well the AC system performs while using the least amount of energy. The U.S. government has been requiring manufacturers to design and build their units to improve energy efficiency and reduce the cost of operation. Like estimates of a car’s gas mileage, SEER can vary, but it is useful for comparing different AC systems.

Tonnage: The tonnage of an AC unit is a measure of its capacity to cool the air. The higher the tonnage the higher the cooling capacity. A lower tonnage system will cost less in terms of initial outlay, but it will cost far more to operate if the tonnage is not appropriate for actual cooling needs.

Insulation: How well a home is insulated affects how well a given cooling system maintains comfortable indoor temperatures. Two identical homes that differ only in that one is very well insulated and the other poorly insulated may require different AC systems to provide the same level of comfort.

Thermostat Technology: Programmable thermostats allow you to save energy by controlling target temperatures based on a household’s schedule. Some thermostats even learn the most efficient settings and automatically program themselves.

Warranties: Complete cooling system warranties typically range from 5 to 10 years, depending on the brand.