6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Air Conditioner
An air conditioner provides comfort and safety and can add value to your home. Choosing a new one is an important decision that requires some thought and attention. For starters, here are 6 common mistakes to avoid in order to ensure that you get many years of excellent performance. You’ll save money, time and grief in the process.
1. Buying the Wrong Size Air Conditioner
Buying a unit that is too big or too small will end up costing you money, and likely will not provide the level of cooling you need. A unit that is too small will work unnecessarily hard and still not be able to cool your home properly. A unit that is too big won’t provide uniform temperatures throughout your home. Both will operate inefficiently, cycling often and driving up your utility costs.
2. Putting the AC in the Wrong Place
Hiding your air conditioner behind plants or shrubs may be aesthetically pleasing, but it can clog the condenser coils, make the AC less efficient, and hinder ventilation. Many of today’s models are designed to be more visually appealing. If you do need to camouflage yours, however, be sure that any shrubs or plants are at least 2 feet away from the unit, and are regularly trimmed to prevent debris from getting into the condenser. Have your unit professionally serviced every year to clean out any dirt and debris that may collect inside.
3. Missing Rebate Opportunities
Manufacturers typically offer rebates that can mean significant savings on your A/C purchase. Those rebates often come during the fall, when most customers aren’t shopping. Don’t miss out on this opportunity by waiting until spring or summer to research your purchase. Great deals are available now!
4. Not Getting More than One Estimate
Not all air conditioners are the same. Prices, options, installation costs, service agreements and permits vary. Not all HVAC companies are the same either. Experience, reputation, reliability and training vary. Get multiple quotes and ask lots of questions to be sure you are making an accurate comparison.
5. Pursuing the Lowest Price
When comparing air conditioners, purchase price doesn’t tell the whole story. Energy bills are an ongoing cost of operation, and sacrificing efficiency for a lower upfront cost could end up costing you more. Ongoing maintenance issues are another consideration. Paying more for reliability and durability can save big over the life of the product. Similarly, skimping on the cost of installation by hiring the wrong contractor can lead to product failure and the need to replace the unit sooner. An air conditioner is a long-term investment in your home. It makes good economic sense to purchase the most efficient one you can afford, even if it costs a little more.
6. Not Getting A Written Guarantee
A written guarantee is your assurance that the company you purchase from stands by its products and services. Be sure to secure your investment with no-hassle, no-questions-asked protection against breakdowns. A true guarantee includes a Performance Guarantee, an Investment Guarantee and a true 100% Satisfaction Guarantee – in writing. Be sure to read it carefully, to know if there are any exclusions.