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Important Tips for Selecting an Air Conditioner for Your Home

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Before you buy an air conditioner for your home, you want to take the time to do your homework and research each type of model rather than deciding by price alone. Buying the most expensive air conditioner can mean one that is actually too powerful for your home, but buying the cheapest air conditioner can mean that it actually doesn't reach every part of the house. You may also be missing out on some other features you should consider before buying an air conditioner. Note a few important tips before you shop.

1. Size

Don't assume that bigger is always better when it comes to an air conditioner because buying one that is too large for your home may mean sudden, short blasts of cold air that don't actually maintain a comfortable temperature in the home or remove humidity. On the other hand, a unit that is undersized may run day and night and still not manage to keep your entire home cool. The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units. For every 500 square feet to be cooled, you want about 10-12,000 BTUs from the unit. For a small home that is 1000 square feet, consider a unit at about 21,000 BTUs.

2. Simple use

Don't overlook the features that make an air conditioner simple to use and to maintain over the years. Choose one with a filter that is easily accessible so you can remove it and replace it as needed. For a window unit, opt for a lightweight style that doesn't need added bracing outside the window. Note how the outside unit opens for a central air conditioner, so you can easily access the fan when it needs to be cleaned or serviced. This will make your air conditioner easier to use and a better investment for your home overall.

3. Noise reduction

When an air conditioner switches on, it may make a humming noise as the condenser works to cool air and the fan pushes that air through your vents. A high-quality model should have a noise reduction factor. This may mean an insulator around the bottom of the unit where the condenser coil is located, to help absorb noise as the unit switches on. The grill design can also eliminate some noise from the unit as the fan comes on; plastic may be quieter than metal, which might tend to vibrate and carry sound. If the unit will be located under a bedroom window, look for these noise insulating factors for maximum comfort.