Are you looking for a new air conditioner for your Gardendale, Alabama, home? With average summer highs climbing to 90 degrees and above, you’ll need a system that can keep up with your comfort needs. We’ve outlined five of the most important features to look for when you’re shopping for a new air conditioning system.

1. Variable-Speed Compressor

Your air conditioner will have a single-stage, two-stage, or variable-speed compressor. A single-speed compressor is either on or off. It operates at only one speed, so it uses a significant amount of energy every time it runs. A two-stage compressor has two speeds, which is more efficient, as it allows for simple adjustments in speed depending on your cooling needs.

A variable-speed compressor is the best option of all because it can run at a wide range of speeds, allowing for minute adjustments to your comfort with minimal energy usage. For low utility bills and spot-on comfort, a variable-speed system is best.

2. Low Decibel Levels

The amount of noise that your air conditioner makes is measured in decibels. These numbers are difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with decibel measurements. For reference, a vacuum cleaner runs at around 70 decibels, a dishwasher can be as loud as 60 decibels, and the hum of a refrigerator is about 40 decibels.

Air conditioners are usually around 50 decibels, but there are some variations. If you’re particularly sensitive to noises, you may want to look for a lower decibel level. Do keep an eye out for higher numbers, which might bother you.

3. Air Conditioning Filter Reminders

Homeowners typically need to change the air filter in their air conditioning systems every one to three months. However, it’s easy to overlook this home maintenance task, as you’re unlikely to see the state of your filter unless you make a point of looking at it.

A thermostat that’s equipped with filter reminders will give you that extra nudge you might need to remember this important task. Changing your air filter regularly will improve your energy efficiency, increase indoor air quality, and help your entire system stay clean.

4. Automatic Delay Fan Switch

In systems without an automatic delay fan switch, the entire air conditioning system stops operating when your thermostat indicates that you’ve reached the programed-temperature. This leaves cool air in the ducts and decreases your overall efficiency. When you have this switch on your unit, the air handler continues to run for a few minutes after the compressor has stopped cooling. This pushes the air that’s already been cooled into the home before the system turns off. This simple feature is a powerful pick for those who want to save on utility bills and get the most from their systems.

5. Air Conditioning High-Efficiency Ratings

Air conditioners are given SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings that specify how efficient they are at cooling your home. The SEER is determined by dividing the average cooling output over the course of the season by the energy usage over the same period. This number tells you the maximum efficiency you might achieve with the unit, so you won’t get this performance in all conditions, but it does give you an idea of what the unit is capable of.

The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit. The minimum SEER rating for today’s air conditioners is 14. A system with a SEER of 21 or 22 is extremely efficient. High-performing systems cost more upfront. Check the SEER for your existing system so you have a frame of reference when you’re shopping and can select a unit that’s more efficient than your previous installation.

It’s best to consult with one of our experienced technicians when you’re shopping for a new air conditioner. We can assess the size of your home to ensure that you’re getting a unit appropriate to your space. Our technicians are committed to helping you find the perfect air conditioner for your comfort needs, energy efficiency goals, and budget. Call One Source Heating & Cooling today at 205-209-4246 to learn more.

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