Our 2021 Buyer’s Guide To Buying A Central Air Conditioner For Your Home

Our 2021 Buyer’s Guide To Buying A Central Air Conditioner For Your Home

When you know you want a central air conditioning unit installed, but you’re just not sure how to go about it or what brand to choose, here’s help.

This up-to-the-minute 2021 central air conditioner buyer’s guide contains all the facts you’re looking for. Read it through, and you’ll be ready to move ahead with confidence and make an informed choice.

Is It Time To Replace Or Repair Your Central AC?

If you already own a central air conditioner, you may be wondering whether to replace the system or whether you can get away with just repairing it.

Your air conditioning might be worth fixing if it is relatively new and the repair is minor. However, now is the time for replacement when your AC:

  • Runs up huge energy bills because its efficiency is declining
  • Needs frequent, costly repair
  • Uses R-22 refrigerant, which the Canadian government is phasing out due to its ozone-depleting effect
  • Is more than 10 to 15 years old (though some Ontario ACs last much, much longer

Benefits Of Installing A Central AC

Are you currently trying to beat the heat with window air conditioners or fans? Those are really only makeshift solutions, which don’t offer the great benefits of a central air conditioning installation, like:

More Convenience

Central AC will not block your light or your view, take up much-needed floor space or direct its cooled air only to one small area of a room. Instead, it works to cool your entire house or building comfortably, quietly, and conveniently.

Better Air Quality

Do you want cleaner, less humid indoor air? Central air conditioners filter dust, animal dander, pollen, and other irritants out of the air circulating through your ductwork. They also provide a dehumidifying feature. The result is improved air quality and health benefits to the occupants of your home or business.

Higher Home Value

If you’re selling a house, you should know that today’s buyers tend to want move-in-ready homes, complete with good quality, efficient HVAC systems. In addition, central air conditioning adds home value and curb appeal.

Types Of Central Air Conditioners

There are 2 basic types of central air conditioners, split and packaged systems.

Split

A split central air conditioner is so-called because it is “split” into two main parts:

1. the evaporator coil, which is located in a cabinet indoors, which frequently includes a furnace or air handler as well

2. the condenser and compressor, enclosed in a weather-resistant metal cabinet outdoors

This type of AC distributes cooled air through your home using the same ducts that circulate warm air from your furnace in winter. It is the most popular kind and the most economical to install in large premises already fitted with existing ductwork.

Package

With packaged air conditioning, the evaporator, compressor, and condenser are all to be found in a single cabinet, which may also contain a gas furnace or electric heating coils. The cabinet is usually installed outdoors, on the home’s roof, or a concrete slab at the foundation level. 

Packaged AC is great for small buildings since it is a space saver. It’s also simpler to install.

Best Central AC Brands Of 2021

Here are our top picks for “Best AC Brand of the Year 2021”:

Trane

Trane is one of the best-known and best-loved central AC manufacturers, voted “Most Reliable HVAC Brand” 6 years running. Trane products are American-made and rigorously tested. Dr HVAC is proud to be a Certified Trane Comfort Specialist, a position achieved and maintained by extensive technical training and top-tier customer service.

RunTru

RunTru is a budget-friendly line of central air conditioners manufactured by Trane. They are made to the same high standards, just minus a few of the bells and whistles—trusted quality at an affordable price.

Bryant

Bryant has been a major player and determined innovator in the heating and cooling industry for over a century. They produce excellent central air conditioners at a variety of price point to suit your budget, and their ultra-high energy-efficient Evolution® System has earned Consumer’s Digest Best Buy status.

Goodman

Goodman has built a solid reputation for quality cooling and heating since 1982. Their products are engineered and manufactured in the USA. Choose from their wide range of central air conditioning units.

Energy Efficiency

Look at the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating for a highly efficient central air conditioner. The higher this is, the better. Federal standards in 2021 mandate a SEER of at least 13 for new air conditioners. While a 14.5 SEER rating will earn Energy Star certification, some AC units are rated 25 or higher.

Multi-Zone Cooling & Heating

Take control of your home comfort — at the time of your central air conditioning installation, you can have your HVAC technician set up multi-zone cooling and heating. They will insert a system of dampers in your ductwork. This divides your house into several smaller zones, each with its own thermostat to fine-tune the temperature.

Size The Central AC Correctly

Buying the right size central air conditioning should never be a matter of guesswork because an incorrectly sized system will leave you a lot less comfortable than you hoped. An undersized AC won’t be able to get your whole space cool enough. At the same time, an oversized one will end up short-cycling, failing to properly dehumidify, and eventually wearing out much sooner than normal.

The required AC size is measured in terms of BTU (British Thermal Units). As a rough estimate, you will need 20 BTU of cooling power per square foot, but an accurate calculation will have to take into account several other essential factors, including:

  • Number of stories in the residence
  • Ceiling height(s)
  • Amount of sun exposure
  • Number and position of windows and exterior doors
  • Even the usual number of occupants! (More people = more body heat, making a larger AC necessary.)

Maintain Your Central Air Conditioner Yearly

You’re investing a good chunk of hard-earned cash into your new central air conditioner. Make the most of your investment by keeping the system in excellent running order. Yearly professional air conditioner maintenance should include thorough inspection, cleaning, and repair of any small issues.

To get annual maintenance, priority service, and guaranteed appointments all year long, even during our broiling GTA summers — peak season for AC service companies — sign up for a Service Club Maintenance Package plan. The cost is minimal, but the peace of mind is enormous.

Choose A Trusted, Licensed HVAC Technician

By the way, speaking of service, allow only a reliable, licensed HVAC technician to work on your central air conditioning — like our friendly experts at Dr HVAC. Our licensed HVAC techs are trained and experienced in dealing with virtually any and every sort of AC issue (not to mention the fact that they’ll arrive at your door with all the necessary tools and equipment). In fact, your central air’s warranty will likely stipulate that all air conditioning repair and service must be performed by a recognized professional.

So get the best, the most trusted central air conditioning installation and service in the Greater Toronto Area. Contact Dr HVAC today!

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