At George Brazil, we install, service and maintain all brands of air conditioners. However, we do partner with a few specific AC brands so that we can offer our customers special pricing and can work with the manufacturers if there’s 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, while another might provide a slightly quieter system. But, at the end of the day, 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.
Below, we’ll look at why choosing a quality AC company or contractor plays a big role in the quality of your installation, and what a quality company should do to ensure your installation is top-notch.
Why a good AC company or contractor is so important
If you were getting 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. According to ENERGY STAR, if an AC is not installed correctly, its performance can be reduced by 30%.
So, how do you find a quality installer who will install your central AC correctly? Here are some tips:
- Ask friends and family. Start with people you know. Who have they used? What were their experiences like?
- 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 reviews, grades 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 installation 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 in the future or you have questions about your warranty.
Once you’ve got a few companies in mind, use this handy checklist from ENERGY STAR for comparing AC installers.
How a quality installer will ensure your installation is done right
A quality installer will not only remove your old AC system and replace it with a new one, they will also ensure that your whole system is working correctly and is set up for success. During a quality installation, a tech will ensure that your AC is:
Properly charged with refrigerant
Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your AC system and is the substance that’s responsible for moving heat out of your home. If your refrigerant lines are low, your new AC will not work efficiently, which means your AC bills will shoot up and your home will probably be warmer than you want it to be. Before replacing your AC system, a quality tech will take a look at your refrigerant system and make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Related: Signs Your AC Needs Refrigerant
Has proper airflow
To work right, your AC needs the right amount of air flowing over the evaporator coil in the indoor unit. Too little airflow and the air conditioner will have to work harder, which can shorten its lifespan as well as increase your energy bills. Insufficient airflow can also cause the coils to freeze up, which can cause your AC to shut off completely. During an installation, a tech should check to make sure your indoor AC unit is getting proper airflow (vents are open and unobstructed, air filter is clean, etc.)
Is connected to well-sealed and insulated air ducts
Your brand new air conditioner will work inefficiently if the ductwork is leaking conditioned air. A good AC installer will take a look at your ducts and suggest ways to improve them if they’re leaking or under-insulated.
Is sized correctly
An AC that’s too large will turn on and off frequently (a process called short cycling). This is highly inefficient and will run up your energy bills and make your home full of hot and cold spots.
An AC system that’s too small will struggle to cool your home, which will also increase your energy bills and can wear your AC system out faster than its intended lifespan.
So, how do you know what size AC is right for your home? Before installing a new AC system, a quality tech will conduct a heat load calculation, which will determine how big of an AC system you need. If a tech does not do this, find a different contractor or company, as you could wind up investing in an improperly sized AC system.
Want a free new system estimate?
If you live in the Phoenix metro or surrounding area,schedule a free estimate with George Brazil.