Buying an Air Conditioner? In Addition to a High SEER Rating, Look for These 6 Key Features

What do you look for when buying an air conditioner? If you’re like most people, a good SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) tops the list. A high SEER rating means lower energy bills while maintaining peak home comfort. For the very best value, look for a 16 SEER or higher, Energy Star-qualified air conditioner for peak energy efficiency while cooling your Greater Kansas City area home.

Then, to get the most from your investment, look for the following six key features in addition to a high SEER rating.

  • Variable-speed air handler: The ability to vary the air handler’s speed offers benefits in terms of comfort, efficiency and noise control. Picture the way you can change air speeds in your car; the same principle applies to a variable-speed air handler in your air conditioning system, except your A/C will do it automatically to match the conditioning needs of your home.
  • Thermal expansion valve: For an air conditioner that can always keep up with demand, look for the matching indoor coil to be equipeed with a thermal expansion valve. Compared to an old fashioned fixed orifice type of metering device, the more advanced TXV helps your A/C perform more efficiently whether the outdoor temperatures are mild or extreme.
  • Quiet operation: It won’t make a difference in terms of efficiency, but buying an air conditioner that operates quietly ensures limited disruption when you’re enjoying time outside near the compressor.  In most cases, the quieter the air conditioner, the better the product engineeering
  • Fan circulating switch: This is useful for creating air circulation without running the compressor. The fan-only switch can be used for nighttime ventilation, to clean the air while you vacuum, or to air out a home after having guests over.
  • Check-filter Indicator: It’s not always easy to remember about checking the air filter, but it should be done about once per month. A check-filter light illuminates after a given number of operating hours to remind you.
  • Automatic-delay fan switch: Ductwork extends throughout your home, distributing cooled air to every room. An automatic-fan delay switch ensures that every bit of cooled air enters the living space by turning off the compressor a few minutes before the air handler. This extra residual cooling pushed through the icey cold coil and ductwork pays huge dividends with better comfort and reduced elsctrical bills as well

These tips for buying an air conditioner should help you make the best decision possible. For more information, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We have proudly served Kansas City residents for 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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