Canada summers are characterized by warm weather, fresh air, and many outdoor activities. However, if you want to stay cool indoors, you need to have a good air conditioning system.
Purchasing an air conditioner is not as simple as negotiating with an AC servicing expert and selecting a cooling system right off the bat. There are a wide variety of options, so it can be difficult to figure out where to begin.
If you’re getting a new AC system or replacing an old one, here’s a comprehensive buying guide to help you find the best AC unit for your home.
What Are the Types of Cooling Systems?
Before diving into the details of purchasing the right cooling system, let’s first understand the different types of units you can install in your living space:
Central Air Conditioning
Central air conditioning systems are popular for whole-house cooling. They operate by cooling air in a central unit and distributing it through ducts to each room in your home.
This AC system comes in 2 types:
- Split systems, which have both indoor and outdoor units
- Packaged systems, which have an outdoor unit to maximize limited spaces
Due to their complexity, central air conditioning systems require professional installation by a qualified air conditioning contractor. You also need regular air conditioning maintenance to ensure its optimal performance.
Ductless Mini-Split Systems
Ductless mini-split systems are a versatile cooling option, especially for homes without ductwork. Ductless air conditioners consist of an outdoor unit connected to one or more indoor units mounted on walls or ceilings.
These systems can cool specific zones or individual rooms, allowing personalized comfort. Although they are relatively easy to install and maintain, you must still hire a professional air conditioning service contractor to ensure their energy efficiency.
Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners are the simplest AC unit. They are self-contained units designed to fit into a window or wall opening. These units are ideal for cooling small spaces or individual rooms.
These air conditioners are often affordable and easy to install, making them popular for apartments or single-room cooling solutions. However, they may be less energy-efficient than central air conditioning or ductless mini-split systems.
How Do I Choose the Right AC Unit?
Buying your next air conditioning unit is more complex than it seems. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you’ll buy the right cooling system for optimal comfort and energy efficiency at home:
Assess your needs
Know what your home needs. Consider the size and number of rooms you need to cool. Additionally, consider the climate in your region, as some areas may experience hotter temperatures or higher humidity levels.
Determine your budget
Consider both the upfront costs and the long-term operational costs. While some systems have a higher initial price tag, they may offer better energy efficiency and potential cost savings in the long run. Considering the return on investment and potential savings on your energy bills over the lifespan of the system is essential.
Know your options
Familiarize yourself with the different cooling systems available in the market. Understand their features, benefits, and limitations.
Compare the pros and cons of each system, and take into account factors such as installation requirements, maintenance needs, and estimated lifespan. This knowledge will help you decide on the best system for your home.
Learn about additional features and technology
Modern cooling systems often come with advanced features. Explore options like programmable thermostats, smart home integration, and energy-saving modes.
Programmable thermostats allow temperature adjustments, optimizing energy usage. Smart home integration enables remote control and monitoring of your cooling system through mobile devices. Additionally, energy-saving modes adjust cooling output based on occupancy or specific periods, improving energy efficiency. Determine which features are essential for you and narrow down your options accordingly.
Consider energy efficiency
Look for cooling systems with high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings. SEER ratings indicate the efficiency of the system in converting electricity into cooling output. Higher SEER ratings typically indicate better energy efficiency and potential cost savings over time.
Energy-efficient systems reduce your carbon footprint and lower your utility bills. So, check for ENERGY STAR® certifications, as these denote products that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines.
Consider noise levels
Cooling systems can impact your comfort, especially if you’re sensitive to sound or plan to install the system in a bedroom or study. In such cases, look for cooling systems that operate quietly.
Manufacturers often provide decibel (dB) ratings to indicate the noise levels of the units. Compare these ratings to ensure minimal noise disturbance in your living space.
Know the installation and maintenance requirements
Different cooling systems have varying installation and maintenance requirements. Central air conditioning systems require professional installation due to their complex ductwork and overall setup. Ductless mini-split systems are more flexible and more convenient to install, often requiring minimal modifications to your home. Meanwhile, window air conditioners are generally designed for DIY installation.
For safe installation done right, it’s best to seek professional assistance. The performance and longevity of your cooling system depend on proper installation and maintenance.
Seek professional advice
When in doubt, it’s rely on HVAC professionals. These air conditioner repair and installation experts can assess your needs and recommend suitable options.
Air conditioner repair professionals in Toronto can make suggestions if you want to replace your current unit. They can guide you through the selection process, considering factors such as system size, energy efficiency, installation requirements, and potential rebates or incentives.
Consulting with professionals ensures you make an informed decision tailored to your home and specific cooling needs.
In the scorching heat of summer, it’s essential to have a reliable and efficient cooling system in place. However, with the wide range of available options on the market and the many AC repair and service companies you can consult, determining which cooling system suits your needs can be challenging. To select the right cooling system for your home, consider the above factors and the importance of seeking professional advice from the right air conditioning company.
If you’re looking for qualified professionals for air conditioner installation or air conditioner repair in Mississauga, Air Quality Dunrite is here. Our team will work hard to understand your needs and preferences, so we can recommend the right cooling system for you. For professional AC installation or repair, call 416-342-1939, and get the most suitable unit for optimal comfort in your home.