Key Features to Look for in a Central Air Conditioner

July 30, 2015

Installing a central air conditioner is one of the most expensive and significant home improvements you'll make. It's important to do some research to get a system that is ideal for your home's cooling needs. Following are some of the most important features to look for in a central air conditioner.

Size The size of a central air conditioner affects its energy consumption and ability to remove moisture from the air. A unit that is too large will turn on and off more frequently, using more energy. It also won't dehumidify your home's air as well as a system that's appropriately sized. A unit that is too small will not properly cool your house on hot days. A contractor will help determine the correct size to buy after taking factors like the size of your house and wall insulation levels into consideration.

Efficiency Rating Every A/C unit has an efficiency rating called Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit is. New central air conditioners have a SEER rating of 13 or higher. Most of the older systems are rated 10 or below. When shopping for a new system, look for an Energy Star-qualified product that has a rating of 14 or higher.

Sound A system that makes noise when turning on or running can be highly irritating. Look for a system that operates quietly

Energy-Saving Features Newer A/C models have many energy-saving features. The features to look for include:

  • A variable-speed air handler to tailor usage to your home's heating and cooling requirements
  • A fan-only switch that allows you to run the fan after turning off the cooling
  • An automatic-delay fan switch to blow residual cool air after your compressor shuts off
  • A filter check light to tell you when it's time to change the air filter
Only the right central air conditioner will pay back your initial investment with energy savings. For more information on features to look for in a central air conditioner, contact us at Lozier Heating & Cooling. We've served the greater Des Moines area for over 100 years. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "alexmillos/Shutterstock"