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Consumer FAQs: Choosing an Air Conditioner

Before you make a decision about buying a central air conditioner, you’ll want to make sure that it is the right one for your home. It’s important to do your homework before you make a buying decision. Here are the answers to some common consumer FAQs. Choosing an air conditioner that will keep your house cool without being too small or too large, adding excess moisture to your home, and being energy efficient is import to today’s homeowners.

Get Answers to FAQs: Choosing an Air Conditioner

Q: How do I know what size air conditioner I need for my home?

A: Determining the right size air conditioner for your home depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Orientation to the sun
  • Number and location of windows
  • Construction details

Buying a system that is too small for your needs may lead to your home feeling too warm or too cool, according to some of your family members. If you install one that is too powerful, it may add too much humidity to your home.

Q:What is a good relative humidity level for a home?

A: The recommended indoor relative humidity level is between 30-60 percent. Keeping it at this level will minimize the growth of molds, allergens, and dust mites.

Q: What is a BTU?

A: BTU is a British Thermal Unit. It is a unit of measurement of heat energy, and one BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit from 58.5 to 59.5. It is used to give you some idea of the heating and cooling capacity of an air conditioning system. A 10,000 BTU window unit will remove that level of heat per hour. The amount of heat that one person at rest will add to a room is about 230 BTU per hour.

Q: What is a SEER rating? Is it worthwhile to spend more for a higher SEER unit?

A: SEER is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of the A/C unit. The higher an air conditioner’s SEER rating is, the more energy efficient it is. You will save money on your energy bills by choosing one with a higher SEER number.

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