Air conditioner reviews

Air conditioners are an investment in your life and future made to keep your surroundings comfortable and bearable despite the outside conditions. Central air conditioner make up a large fraction of your total energy expenditure each summer year after year, so it is worth some time and research to ensure you are getting the best one you can afford. If you live in a dry climate a swamp coolers will cool air by adding moisture to it; the opposite of most air conditioners, which cool air by removing moisture. Swamp coolers are less expensive since they do not require a lot of equipment. Most air conditioners require installation of extra equipment for great performance through changes in the refrigerant and replacements.

A new air conditioner represents a major investment, but one that will pay for itself over time if you buy an efficient unit that will reduce the costs of the utility bills. Cheap is expensive and a cheap air conditioner may spike your bills. Below are the criteria we used to evaluate the best AC units on the market:

Central air conditioning systems and all other types of air conditioners are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio, also known as SEER. The SEER number tells you how much energy is needed for cooling. Look for units with the highest SEER number available. Older models have a SEER rating of 5 or 6, whereas newer units today get into the 20s. An Energy Star certification from the Department of Energy also is a good sign that the system will save you money.

Look for a central air conditioner that is quiet. These units are installed outside of your home, so you want a product that won't be noisy for you and your neighbors. AC units have a drastic range in noise levels, so look for one that will make sense for your surroundings. The quietest units in our lineup have a sound rating of less than 60 decibels. Certain features reduce noise, such as louvered fan blades, proper insulation and variable settings.

The best air conditioning systems are heavy devices. These units sit outside all year long, so it is important that they are fit to handle all types of weather. The best AC units allow you to easily access the air filters, coils and other areas of your cooling device. We also looked for units that are reasonably compact so they do not represent an eyesore in your landscaping.

The best HVAC systems are made by reputable companies that back up their products with good customer service. They also offer warranty and installation of the unit of your choice.

An air conditioning system is a valuable tool in your home during those hot, humid months, but finding the right product can be tough. You will know you have found the right unit for your home when you see a combination of the above features. Then you can maintain the features by doing regular maintenance.