Buying a new AC system is a big deal for San Bernardino area homeowners. You expect a new air conditioner to last many years, so it needs to be able to produce the cooling and energy savings you desire. Unfortunately, if you don’t understand what you’re looking at, it’s not likely that your choice will be as effective as you expect.

Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating explains a few important things to keep in mind when buying a new air conditioning system for your Inland Empire home. When it’s time to buy, give us a call – we are happy to guide you as you make your decision and provide quality installation of whichever new air conditioner you choose for your home.

Familiarize Yourself with Efficiency Ratings

When buying a new AC, energy efficiency ratings are important to most homeowners. The unit’s energy efficiency rating tells you how efficiently the unit converts the energy it consumes into cooling for your home.

A central air conditioner’s energy efficiency over the course of a normal cooling season is reflected as SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit. In California, the minimum allowable SEER rating for a new split air conditioner is 14, but models are available that reach SEER in the low 20s. When purchasing a new AC, check the yellow Energy Guide tag on an air conditioner to learn its SEER.

It’s important to understand what SEER means when buying a new AC because this number affects a few things. The more SEER you increase over your current unit, the more savings are generated on your energy bills. As you shop, you’ll notice units with higher SEER are typically more expensive to purchase than models with lower SEER. Find a happy meeting point between how efficient you can go while still sticking to your budget to help determine the ideal SEER for your new unit.

Understand What Size Really Means

You’ve probably heard of size when it comes to new air conditioners. Size or capacity simply refers to how much heat an air conditioner is able to remove from the home. While it’s commonly measured in tons, this does not refer to how much the unit weighs.

To determine the appropriate unit size when buying a new AC, you need to know how much heat needs to be removed from your home, which is referred to as your home’s cooling load. Cooling load is not a simple thing to determine – many factors contribute to how much heat exists in the home, not just the home’s size. It’s best to work with a skilled HVAC technician who is able to accurately assess your home’s cooling load and determine an appropriate size for your new unit.

As you look into buying a new AC, look for a close fit – you don’t want to go too big or too small. When air conditioners are too small, they cannot adequately cool the home, so they run longer in attempts to achieve your preferred temperatures but wear out fast. On the other hand, an air conditioner that is too big isn’t ideal because cooling cycles start and stop quickly, creating an issue called short cycling that damages the system. 

Hire a Reputable Air Conditioning Company

Buying a new AC unit is a big investment. It’s tempting to consider buying through an online retailer due to the low prices they advertise. However, if you do so, the only thing it’s going to be good for is an expensive lawn ornament – because no local HVAC contractor worth their salt will install it for you.

Sanborn’s, as well as most reputable HVAC companies, will not install an air conditioner that homeowners purchase themselves. We only install units that we obtain for our clients direct from the factory. This is not done to make you pay more money, but to protect you in the long run.

Homeowners who choose to buy air conditioner online frequently deal with problems including:

Warranty Issues

The issue here is too many times a homeowner buys a cheap air conditioner online and is promised a warranty that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. So, what happens when the online retailer doesn’t keep its promises after buying an AC unit? The buyer is left holding the bag, and Sanborn’s is caught in the middle. We don’t want to have any part in a business transaction when we have no control over whether or not you’re going to be satisfied.

When you buy an air conditioner from Sanborn’s and have us install it, we are in control of the process from start to finish. The payoff for you is a 100% satisfaction guarantee and professional air conditioning service following the installation.

Manufacturer Warranty Not Valid

Even if you happen to find a name-brand air conditioner available online, you need to know many HVAC manufacturers clearly state they will not provide warranty coverage when their products are sold online. Additionally, from our standpoint, too many things can go wrong even if there is a manufacturer’s warranty. 

If Sanborn’s wasn’t involved in the design process to determine the proper sizing and correct airflow, why would we want to take the blame when there are problems in those areas? Unlike refrigerators and big-screen TV’s, air conditioners are not plug and play. They have to be carefully designed to fit your home’s needs.

Damage or Return Issues

Just for argument’s sake, let’s say after buying an AC online we decide to do the installation for you (we won’t). We clear our schedule and send the install team to do the work. Upon arrival they find the unit was damaged during shipment, has parts missing or simply doesn’t work after it’s installed. When we send you a bill for the installation, you’re not going to be happy if the air conditioner isn’t working. Once again, Sanborn’s is stuck in the middle of a fight between you and the online retailer.

Hey, Sanborn’s knows the world is changing. We all do some online shopping, but there has to be a limit. Don’t be fooled into thinking buying a cheap air conditioner directly from a website is like buying a book, clothes or lawn mower. When it comes to an appliance this complex, and yes, expensive, it’s just not worth the risk. 

Improper Unit 

Sanborn’s has a team of professionals to make sure the air conditioner you buy is the right one for your home, and our people can handle custom installations. When you buy an air conditioner online, there’s no qualified professional who has assessed your home in person to determine cooling load and sizing for your new unit. Even if the retailer offers an online sizing calculator, these formulas are simple and typically only consider home square footage, not all the different factors required for an accurate assessment.

When Buying a New Air Conditioner, Call Sanborn’s!

Before buying a new AC, learn what to look for in a new model and the right place to look for it – your local HVAC contractor. Sanborn’s offers a full range of air conditioners of all types to ensure you have a wide selection to choose from and find the right fit for your family. Plus, we perform installation and ensure your satisfaction.

Know what you’re looking for and don’t buy online – call Sanborn’s today for a free estimate on a new air conditioner for your San Bernardino area home.