At Galvez Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, we install, service and maintain all brands of air conditioners. There are a few brands we partner with so that we can offer our customers special pricing and we can work with the manufacturers if there is ever a problem.
That being said, there isn’t a huge difference between most of the major central AC brands today. One might offer a larger touch-screen on their thermostat. Another might have a furnace that’s 98.5% AFUE while a competitor’s is only 98.4% AFUE.
But, these differences are relatively insignificant.
So, if the brand isn’t that important, what is? The most important factor in purchasing a new air conditioner is the quality of the installation.
Why a good AC installer is so important
If you were getting some major repairs done on your car, would you trust a random guy off the street with no references? Not likely.
Like your car, your home’s central air conditioning system is a complex system with multiple working parts. And incorrectly installed air conditioners and heat pumps result in a 27% energy loss, according to ENERGY STAR.
Chart of the cost of a poor air conditioner installation. ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR defines a quality installation as one that is:
An AC that’s too large will turn on and off frequently (called short cycling). This is highly inefficient and will run up your energy bills and make your home full of hot and cold spots. Your initial HVAC Service Technician or Comfort Specialist usually does the pre-measure for your home when they put together the quote for your new air conditioner. If you have questions or want the size calculation explained, just ask your sales representative.
Properly charged with refrigerant
Too little refrigerant will make your AC to freeze up, while too much refrigerant can cause your AC to run inefficiently.
Related: Signs Your AC Needs Refrigerant
Correctly balanced with the right amount of airflow
To work right, your AC needs the right amount of air flowing over its cooling coils. Too little airflow and the air conditioner will have to work harder, shortening its lifespan. Not enough airflow can also cause the coils to freeze up, leading to downtime.
Connected to well sealed and insulated air ducts
Your brand new air conditioner will work inefficiently if the connected ductwork is leaking the conditioned air. A good AC installer will take a look at your ductwork and suggest ways to improve them if they’re leaking or under-insulated. This is also usually addressed when your initial sales representative or service technician recommends that you need a new unit.
How to find a quality AC installer
Now that you know a quality installer is important, how do you find one? Here are some tips:
- Ask friends and family. Start with people you know. Who have they used? What was their experience?
- Read reviews. There are lots of reviews out there. Read up on the company you’re considering. A great source is to check the Better Business Bureau for their reviews, grade and qualifications.
- Check licenses. Make sure they have a license to do HVAC work in Arizona. This shows they’re in it for the long run and not just for a quick buck.
- Don’t shop just on price. The cheapest guy is likely not the best. Doing good, quality work and hiring trained professionals costs money. The AC installers that do those things generally have a higher price, as a result.
- Consider how long the company’s been around. Though not always true, companies that have been around awhile are more likely to still be around when you need them if there is a problem in the future or you have questions on your warranty.
Once you’ve got a few companies in mind, use this handy checklist from ENERGY STAR for finding and comparing AC installers.
- What Size Central Air Conditioner Do I Need?
- SEER Savings Calculator Tools: From Beginner to Advanced
- Are Two-Stage Air Conditioners a Good Choice for Phoenix-area Homes?
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