Qualities to Look For When Buying an AC

Air conditioners come in all shapes and sizes for all ranges of cooling needs. Firstly, there are the basics that should be covered when looking to buy an AC unit, like sizing and energy efficiency ratings. These are great things to do your initial research on when purchasing a unit of your own, however, many other factors should be carefully considered when on the precipice of such an important investment. Unsure of which features to prioritize or think about when making your decision? Here are some of the often overlooked but crucial qualities to look for when buying an AC unit.


When buying an AC unit, ease of installation is a logistical factor that should not be ignored. Especially if your budget is tight, installation costs can be the difference between being able to afford a certain system and having to choose a cheaper option. This is especially true with options that necessitate the installation or heavy repair of ducts. In most cases, your home’s size will determine your AC’s size. For instance, if you have a larger home, you’ll more likely require a larger unit, which is more expensive to set up. Additionally, if you’re opting for a smaller or cheaper model, you should be able to fit it and maneuver it in your chosen space. This means having the tools and physical space to install it yourself. If you’re not able to bear the load of the unit, consider ringing a friend for help on the installation. Be aware though, In some cases, it is truly better to leave it to a professional.

They can help you install your AC unit properly.  When looking for a reputable installer, it’s a good idea to ask for referrals from family, friends, and neighbors, get multiple quotes, and ensure the installer is licensed and insured. This way, you can rest knowing the installation of your new AC unit is in good hands. 

Air Quality

The air that is coming out of an AC unit can be ice cold, but if the quality of the air is poor, it’s a huge problem for the health of you and your loved ones. Though indoor air quality is notoriously worse than outdoor air quality, it doesn’t need to be the case. Manufacturers will typically set rigorous standards for shelf-ready AC systems, but it’s always a good idea to be monitoring your air quality. If you’re looking into a central system, you can head to www.acdirect.com to look up thousands of makes and models and make sure you’re properly attending to all ducts, vent screens, and filters. Dehumidification levels should also be factored into the overall quality of your air conditions and should be closely monitored for optimal comfort.Aside from dehumidification, checking the air conditioner’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating is essential. It refers to a measure of an AC unit’s level of efficiency. This means that the higher the SEER rating is, the less energy is needed to cool your home. Consequently, you can save money on your energy bills while improving good indoor air quality around the home.

Cleaning and Maintenance 

It’s fairly well known that dollar signs follow where terms like “cleaning” and “maintenance” are thrown around. That is why it’s paramount that you investigate both of these qualities when looking for the AC that will closest fit your needs. Auto clean functions are super important to look for when deciding between potential units, as they prevent the build-up of moisture, dust, and other allergens. This is notably valuable in central systems, though duct cleaning is still a consideration. 

Almost all AC units have screens and filters that need to be regularly cleaned or changed. Required maintenance will also impact the life and value of your investment. It’s important to factor in the routinely scheduled check-up and repair visits you will need when completing a cost evaluation. Hot tip: specialty air conditioning systems will have higher price tags for any repair or maintenance work. Moreover, it’s also essential to factor in other different maintenance tasks required apart from screen and filters cleaning to keep an HVAC system working properly. For example, professional air duct cleaning is necessary to remove dirt, dust, and other contaminants from the ducts to maintain good indoor air quality. Lubricating the system’s moving parts, such as the fan motor, is also needed to prevent wear and tear. Lastly, checking for and repairing leaks can be another vital maintenance task to avoid energy wastage and prevent damage to your HVAC system.

Noise and Adaptability

Other basic qualities to look for when buying an AC are noise level and adaptability. The decibel threshold you are comfortable with will vary by usage and positioning. If you are going to be using an outdoor model, you can easily opt for a machine with a higher decibel operational rate. When dealing with indoor models, it’s important to look for decibel ratings of under 60. Most efficiently operating machines should not give off a lot of noise, but it’s a great thing to test and inquire about. 

If you’re looking into more adaptable systems, it might be worth it to look into systems with features like sleep-mode or smart thermostats. These will adjust cool air output based on your needs and typical usage, also helping to improve the quality of your at-home experience. No matter how loud or quiet your machine is, you should always look for systems with auto-restart functions in the event of a power outage. This will ensure your flow of AC will remain relatively uninterrupted. 

There are a lot of things to consider when making any large purchase. For something like an AC unit, the wealth of information online can be more confusing than helpful. Initially considered factors aside, there are numerous elements of quality air conditioning that go overlooked by the average consumer. By keeping in mind the qualities discussed above, you will have a clear idea of what is important when deciding which unit is right for you. More informed means cooler, and also better positioned to save money in the long term.