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Buying an Air Conditioner

Determine if you need a new system

Air conditioning energy costs can account for more than 50 percent of your electric bill during peak heating and cooling months. So before you spend money to repair your air-conditioning system or invest in a new one, consider these questions to help evaluate the condition of your existing system:
  • Does your system undergo frequent repairs?
  • Has your system experienced a major component failure?
  • Are you continually receiving high electric bills?
  • Is your air conditioner working harder to keep your home cool?
If your system is more than 10 years old and you answered yes to any of these questions, you may benefit from replacing your system and taking advantage of lower long-term costs.

Evaluate your options

Key information you'll want to know before making a final decision:
  • System type - straight cool or heat pump?
  • Efficiency - what efficiency rating is recommended?
  • Size - you will need a heat load calculation to determine the correct size
  • Manufacturer rebates - rebate amounts
  • Additional rebates - are other rebates available?
  • Warranty - how long are parts and labor covered?
  • Price - be sure final costs include any changes to your home's electrical or duct system and ask if duct size is appropriate for your new system.

Choose the system that's right for you

When shopping for a new air-conditioning system, it's important to find one that best fits your household's needs.