Any Resident of Kingwood, Texas knows the importance of coming home to a nice cool house after a long day in the heat of summer. Wrapping your fingers around that blisteringly hot steering wheel and sweating out those few long moments before your truck’s AC kicks on in full is all worth it knowing that opening your front door will welcome you home with a cool breeze, letting you know that while you were out doing your job, your AC unit was working, too. But, for those without a wonderful, modern, air conditioning appliance, or those not satisfied with their current AC unit, what are some tips to help chose the HVAC contractor to work with, and help you get what you pay for?
First, when your HVAC technician comes to your home to give you a quote, make sure his measurements account for more than just the square footage of your home. Ask for a copy of the cooling load measurements, in order to compare them amongst companies, and make sure they include the measurements of your walls, floors, ceilings, and windows, along with information on indoor and outdoor temperatures, tree shade, and roof color. All these factors determine the cooling load required to cool a home, and a lazy technician can cost you money, or overestimate the size of the air conditioning unit you need. According to Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, 33-50% of all air conditioners installed in the US are over-sized. This means that the unit will turn on and off more times during a day, costing you more in the long run by wasting power and more upfront when paying for a bigger unit than your home needs. This being said, be sure the technician takes the time to do his job, and allow him to do so. Aside from taking measurements in every room, they check your crawl space as well as your attic and insulation.
Aside from making sure your new air conditioner is the right size for your home, choosing an Energy Star model will lower your costs over time and is a worthwhile investment despite the bigger price tag. Install the unit on the North or East side of the house, and make sure that the coil is easily accessible. Following these rules will keep the unit in better shape, and easy access keeps repair costs down while making the unit easy to maintain yourself. Cleaning the coil twice a year is recommended, though you should check your filter more regularly, about once per summer month. Clean this with an air compressor or replace if dirty or damaged. Regular upkeep of your new AC will keep your power bill down, the repairman away, and your home nice and cool for you, after a long day away.