Homeowners in Lorton, Virginia, know what it feels like to make a major investment, as property values are some of the highest in the state. Among all the systems in your house that you rely on for security and comfort, the AC system is likely taken for granted the most and cared for the least – until it’s too late.

While preventative maintenance is an important second step to ensuring your air conditioner operates more efficiently and lasts longer, investing in the right system for your home is a critical first. Here’s what you should consider when choosing a new air conditioner; the cost of the system depends on various factors.

Choose the Right System for the Size of Your Home

Most – if not all – of the houses in Lorton, Virginia, are big enough to warrant a central air conditioning installation. But to ensure you choose an air conditioner that cools your home as efficiently as possible, you must consider the size of your home and the system’s output. The bigger the house, the more cooling power it needs to provide a comfortable environment for everyone in it.

Bigger isn’t always better, though. If the air conditioner is too powerful for the size of your house, it’ll cycle on and off constantly, leading to wasted energy and utility dollars. Conversely, if the system isn’t powerful enough, it’ll run all the time and can waste money. A reputable HVAC contractor will consider a number of factors when determining the correct size system your home will need. Some of these considerations include the position of your house, number of windows, amount of insulation, number of people in the home and more.

Here’s what you should aim for when choosing a system with the right capacity for your house.

  • 700 – 1,000 square feet = 18,000 BTUs per hour
  • 1,000 – 1,200 square feet = 21,000 BTUs per hour
  • 1,200 – 1,400 square feet = 23,000 BTUs per hour
  • 1,400 – 1,500 square feet = 24,000 BTUs per hour
  • 1,500 – 2,000 square feet = 30,000 BTUs per hour
  • 2,000 – 2,500 square feet = 34,000 BTUs per hour

Consider the System’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

The air conditioner’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio – better known as its SEER – is especially important if you live in a climate like Virginia, where temperatures change dramatically. The SEER is calculated by dividing the cooling output by the electrical input. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system.

As of January 2015, the government requires that all new systems sold in this region have a SEER of at least 14. This alone improves home energy efficiency by 30 percent. But air conditioning manufacturers like Bryant produce systems that have a SEER in the 20s, which improves efficiency even more.

Of course, in addition to the system itself, you also have to factor in the air conditioning installation when calculating the cost of your investment. For the latest specials on Bryant systems and air conditioning installations, check our specials page or contact us at (703) 436-8028.