Is it time to buy a new air conditioner for your home? There is a lot to know during this process. Once you know the basics, however, it’s not too difficult to purchase and install your air conditioning unit.
It’s likely that you’ll buy a portable or window air conditioner. This is because you’ll need the help of a contractor for a wall unit or full central air conditioning system. A window unit is probably your best bet because it will cool the room effectively and end up being a relatively inexpensive solution.
On the other hand, a portable unit might be best if you live in an area with a lot of noise or terrible air quality. This type of air conditioner will sit on the floor with a hose that extends to the window. The hose releases hot air from your home. The only drawback is that portable units don’t cool as effectively as window units.
Let’s take a look at which type is best for your situation before we get into how to install your new air conditioner.
Perform Your Measurements
It’s important to measure the dimensions of the window and the room where you intend to install the air conditioner. A larger unit is more powerful, but you need to make sure it will fit inside your window correctly. Take note of the room’s width, length, and height after you measure the window.
Will you add units to multiple rooms in order to fully air condition your home? If so, think about getting more powerful units in the kitchen and rooms that get a lot of sun. Your kitchen will heat up whenever you turn on the stove or oven. Rooms with sun access will get overly hot and need more power from your unit, as well.
Calculate Size Needed
British Thermal Units, or BTUs, are used to determine an air conditioner’s power. Do an online search for an air conditioner BTU chart or calculator to help you figure out how large a unit each room in your house requires. Using your room measurements, these tools will show you what you need to know.
Determine How Many AC Units You Need
Don’t run down to Home Depot and grab the first air conditioner you find with the correct number of BTUs. You first need to think through how many units you actually need to correctly cool your home. This will help avoid a situation where you end up with one room that is too cold and another that is muggy.
The airflow patterns in your home are an important consideration. If your home is long, for example, you don’t want to install a unit in the kitchen only. You’ll likely end up with a hot box in the bedroom that sits at the far end of the home. You’ll experience muggy areas if you install an air conditioner that is too strong for the area where it sits.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you can close some rooms off when it’s particularly hot outside. This will lower your costs because you won’t use as much energy or need to buy as many units.
Go Purchase Your AC Unit
Once you know how many units are needed and have the BTUs for everyone, now it’s time to hit Home Depot or Lowes. Talk to the store representatives to gain an understanding of the benefits and features for any unit you might consider buying.
Some units are noisier than others. This is an important consideration if you’re placing the unit in your bedroom or where you watch television. Of course, the quieter models will cost a bit more than the noisier models.
A few manufacturers to consider are:
- Day & Night
Install Your Air Conditioning Unit
Don’t try to install your unit all by yourself. Get someone else to help you, so you don’t run into any accidents. “You don’t want to damage your new unit before you have the chance to benefit from it,” says John from http://comfortmechanicalonline.com/.
It’s possible that a heavier unit will require outside support, so it doesn’t fall out of the window bracing. Set the air conditioning unit at an angle. The angle allows for proper condensation drainage. Make sure that it angles away from the inside of your home. The angle is necessary to avoid condensation from remaining in the unit and causing mold.
A piece of small wood will help get the angle accomplished. Once everything is positioned correctly, close the window and make sure your unit is snug to the window.
Don’t rely only on the accordion shutters that are located on both sides of your air conditioner. These shutters usually let in noise and bugs. You want to take the extra time to build in a more secure connection on either side of the unit.
The best way to accomplish this is to use insulation board. It’s relatively cheap to buy at Lowes or Home Depot. Cut out a piece of insulation board after measuring the area between the air conditioner and the window.
Don’t insert the insulation board just yet, however. First, wrap the board in a piece of fabric. This will help get a tighter fit as you wedge it into place. This will more effectively keep bugs out, muffle outside noise, and properly insulate your room. If you use a piece of cloth that matches the room’s decor, then you’ll hardly notice that it’s there.
The last thing you need to do is look for any gaps existing around your air conditioning unit. Use insulation foam to block out those gaps.
Once you start using the unit, be mindful about keeping the shades pulled on hot days. The less sun you let in requires less energy as you cool off the house. This practice will have a direct effect on lessening the amount you pay for power every month. Even better, consider white curtains or shades. White helps reflect much of the sun’s energy and helps keep your room cooler.
As you can see, there is a lot to do and think about when choosing the right air conditioner for your home. Don’t get overwhelmed by the process, though. Simply take it step-by-step. You’ll soon have the correct unit installed so that you can enjoy a cooler home on those hot summer days.