Q:

What are some tips for buying an air conditioner?

A:

Quick Answer

Tips for buying an air conditioner vary based on the type of air conditioner that is being purchased. For both central and room air conditioners, consumers should make sure they get the correct size, consider the unit's energy efficiency and read the warranty.

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Full Answer

A central air conditioner is used to cool the entire household, while a room air conditioner is used to cool one or two rooms. Getting the correct size is important because an undersized unit can't keep the area cool enough, while an oversized unit uses more power than necessary. Air conditioners also decrease the humidity in an area, but an oversized unit can't do this effectively because it turns itself on and off too much.

Central air conditioners have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, abbreviated as SEER. Room air conditioners have an Energy Efficiency Rating, shortened to EER. A higher rating indicates a more efficient air conditioner, which reduces power costs. As of February 2015, a SEER of 12 or higher and a EER of 11 or higher are considered high efficiency ratings.

Important warranty information to consider includes the length of the warranty and what is covered by the warranty. The warranty coverage may vary on different parts of the air conditioner, or a warranty may only partially cover repair costs.

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