How to Shop Around for a New Air Conditioner


Shopping around for a new air conditioning unit can be overwhelming.  You want a reasonable price and a system that will last.  On top of all that, there are so many different size systems, brands, and efficiency ratings. With our guide, you can get a good idea of what size and the type of unit you may need. It is always best to consult with an HVAC company that can provide expertise and helps point you in the right direction. 

You can certainly start your search on your own with the help of our guide. Below we cover the main criteria on what to look for when searching for a new HVAC system.


What SEER number is best for your situation? SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The number that corresponds with the SEER is how efficient the system will be.  The higher the number, the more energy-efficient the air conditioning unit is. Nowadays, the most common SEER ratings range from 14-18.  These newer units are much more efficient than systems made a decade ago.


Many people get confused and have no idea what BTU even stands for.  The acronym BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is used to measure energy. Precisely it measures the amount of heat an HVAC system can remove from a room. The higher the number, the more cooling power the unit has.  

Size of Home

One of the significant considerations for which size unit you should install is the size of your home and if you have two levels or one.  If you do have a two-story home, you may consider having two separate units installed.  This will provide more precise cooling to each level of the home and ultimately save you money. In the hot summer months, many of the two-story houses stay cool on the first floor. This saves you from having to waste energy to run an air conditioner throughout the entire home.

You should consult your HVAC Company, but here is a general guide.

3-ton – 1,500 to 2,100 square feet

4-ton – 2,100 to 2,700 square feet

Warranty Information

Buying a new air conditioning system can be costly, so it’s important to get the best warranty you can.  Typically most of the trusted manufactures will provide a 10-year warranty on all parts. The HVAC Company that installs the system should also provide some warranty on their labor. The most common warranty for labor will be anywhere from one to two years.


One of the most important things to consider is your air conditioning is proper maintenance.  An HVAC system is similar to a vehicle. You can’t expect to drive your vehicle for five to ten years and not service the vehicle. You need oil changes, tire rotations, air filters, and an HVAC system is similar. A certified HVAC technician can come out regularly and ensure your system is in working order. This is critical to the life of your HVAC unit. Without proper maintenance, your system is subject to failure and costly repairs. 

Most HVAC companies will offer a preventative maintenance program. Programs like that are meant to keep your system in good working condition. The technicians that service the HVAC units can usually spot problems before they break. This can ultimately save the homeowner money by replacing the broken part before it leads to something more severe. Also, it can usually cost more when your system breaks down on off-hours or at the weekends.  


As a homeowner buying a new air conditioning system can be somewhat overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. It is essential to educate yourself on what you specifically need and where to shop for that at.