Back in your dad’s day purchasing a new central AC air conditioner was a simple matter. The HVAC salesman would make a recommendation and the homeowner typically went with the best AC option based on what they could afford. Now you have manufacturers from around the world competing for your AC air conditioner purchase at prices that range drastically with add on features that seem so futuristic they could be right out of Star Trek!
With so many AC air conditioner options including air conditioners with heat and so many changes – comparing air conditioners let alone choosing a central AC air conditioner has never been more complicated!
Francis Plumbing and Heating ClimateCare makes it easier to find the right home heating and air conditioning to fit your needs and your lifestyle within a budget you can afford.
Looking for a specific AC brands? There are many air conditioning brands on the market today:
What is the best air conditioners on the market? Some of the more popular central air conditioners include: Climate Care, Keeprite, Coleman, Luxaire, Carrier, Bryant, Lennox, Trane, Comfort Maker, Heil, Tempstar, ArcoAir, Rudd, Goodman, Amana, Ducane, American Standard, GE, Split Ductless Air Conditioning Units like Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, etc.
Looking for a specific air conditioner efficiency? AC units come in different efficiencies:
13 SEER AC, 14 SEER AC, 15 SEER AC, 16 SEER AC, 17-20 SEER AC, 21 SEER AC, 22 SEER AC, 24 SEER AC
The higher the seer – the more efficient the unit but it also means a much higher price tag and since central air conditioners are only used for a few months a year (unlike southern states where they are used year round) you wont operate the unit long enough to recover your investment if you go with the top of the line highest seer rating. So what seer rating is best? Which seer rating qualifies for rebates? We can go over all that with you if you really want to know what is going to work best for your home.
Looking for a specific air conditioner size? AC units come in many different sizes:
½ Ton AC, 1 Ton AC, 1.5 Ton AC, 2 Ton AC, 3 Ton AC, 4 Ton AC, 5 Ton AC
The size of the unit makes a huge difference to how comfortable your home is – get it too small and it runs continuously (using too much electricity) and your house never feels comfortable on really hot days. Get it too large and the unit cycles on and off frequently because there isn’t enough demand to put it in the higher efficiency modulating settings so it is harder on the unit and your house may become damp and moldy from too much moisture. When the central air conditioner is sized properly for your home it is comfortable all summer long, it uses the most energy efficient settings for that specific unit, and it lasts longer because it isn’t over operating or cycling on and off frequently. Whether you need a 1/2 ton, 1 ton, 1 1/2 ton, 2 ton, 3 ton, 4 ton or 5 ton AC make sure the size fits your actual home needs. We can help you with that!
So what is the difference between AC units / air conditioners?
Central AC Air Conditioners all do basically the same thing – they pull hot air out of the air creating cold air, the fan blows the cool air through the duct work. So why are there so many models of central air conditioners? Because Ottawa homeowners want different AC features depending on budget, personal cooling and heating preferences, conveniences, noise levels, and so many other things.
So how can you compare AC air conditioners if they are all so different?
Many things make air conditioners different from each other (it applies to central AC air conditioners, split ductless air conditioners, heat pumps and heat recovery systems and most cooling and heating systems) – but here are just a few of the things that make them different (for the full list get your free copy of our Ottawa Homeowner Air Conditioning Comparison Guide):
- Quality of installation – WARNING: Installations are NOT the same – this is the most common cause of problems down the road when customers go with the cheapest AC installers who really don’t understand the technology they are installing and thus either size the unit improperly (causing your walls inside your home to sweat dripping moisture in the summer causing mildew and mold problems compromising your health) or the air conditioning installation was never designed to operate the way it was installed – or even something as simple as the patio stone they installed the air conditioner unit on wasn’t level so it put too much stress on the fan motor.Usually when you hear of a new central air conditioner failing – the reason it failed was because of improper AC installation. In fact some central AC air conditioners have developed a bad reputation online based ONLY on improper installations instead of on the longevity or quality of the actual central air conditioner – be careful when comparing AC units because this ONE area (installations) can mean the difference between effortless enjoyment of a cool home and thousands in unexpected ongoing repairs that never seem to resolve the problem. The problem may not be with the AC unit – it may simply be in how the unit was installed that has caused catastrophic failure.When shopping around for the best AC air conditioner go with a licensed certified expert who guarantees their work and has been in business long enough to be there when you call if there are ever problems. (Be sure to get your Free AC Guide so you can know what to look for when shopping around for a new AC air conditioner)
- Efficiency levels – Efficiency is measured in SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio). Usually the higher the air conditioners efficiency the more costly the AC unit (just like new cars) and with that higher efficiency air conditioner you get more complicated computer components that make it run at such a high efficiency (everything these days has computer chips even your central air conditioner). This all equates to making sure your AC service technician is manufacturer certified to handle your specific AC air conditioner model and that the efficiencies actually have a reasonable payback time-line so that you will save enough to warrant the additional costs– some units can take longer to recoup the cost differential and in fact some air conditioners may never cover the additional charges for the higher efficiency.Our certified HVAC estimator is able to provide you with the numbers so you can make the best decision based on your home cooling and heating needs, the age of your home, your budget and other important factors. (Be sure to get our Free A/C Guide where you can learn about SEER and EER and how that translate to dollar savings including a supplemental document that shows how much Ottawa home owners can expect to save each year on their cooling costs). You will also learn why the highest efficiency AC units may be overkill in our Canadian climate.
- Material quality used in the manufacturing of central air conditioners makes a difference. Do you remember your mother’s Tupperware containers that she is still using today and yet you can’t buy a plastic container today that will last one year let alone decades. And what about that car your Dad bought in the 70’s that ran for 30 years while newer models die in only 10 to 15 years. It is the unfortunate truth that equipment today doesn’t last as long – this is directly related to the quality of materials used while trying to balance the costs between weight, shipping costs, efficiencies and more. The new standard in central air conditioners lifespan is 10 to 15 years (that used to last 25+ years). The good news in all of this is that even if they don’t last as long as the old beast air conditioner – these new ones have gotten smarter and more efficient due to computer components and manufacturing improvements that save you money in operating costs (hydro). But there IS a difference in the materials used, so when shopping around you need to know which materials will last longer, out perform, and provide quite reliable cooling for your home.
- Warranties – many warranties are not worth the paper they are written on, so you really do have to read the fine print if you want the best air conditioner you know will be covered against product failure (and the fine print is usually in a language that requires legal degrees to fully understand). That being said you should be able to see the warranty up front if you ask and if you don’t understand something have it explained to you IN WRITING – this way you are more likely to be protected against any unexpected air conditioning expenses down the road.In addition as more and more materials are purchased overseas it is not uncommon for AC parts to get damaged in the shipping process so the warranty can be the only thing that protects the end buyer from getting an AC air conditioner that doesn’t work as promised once installed.
Don’t expect all HVAC contractors to actually cover warranties – most simply offer the manufacturer’s warranty only and do not guaranty their actual work (the labour). This means that you could be stuck paying labour charges for every AC repair (even if you get a faulty air conditioner that is being replaced by free by the manufacturer you still pay for the second installation on top of the first installation).
Our work comes with our minimum 1 year labour warranty on top of the manufacturers warranties PLUS we offer an optional extended 10 YEAR parts and labour warranty so you aren’t stuck paying unexpected additional out of pocket expenses later. We even include our 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranty and our $5 million dollar liability insurance so you know your home is protected.
Imagine never having to pay for an AC repair for 10 years… now that is a great warranty!
- Quality of the maintenance – like your car the better you care for it the better it runs and the longer it lasts – the same is true for air conditioners. If you take care of your central AC air conditioner you have fewer headaches & you save money too. These new air conditioners are not the same machines that were made even a few years ago – they all have computer components now to minimize the hydro-electricity that is used and to operate more effectively and efficiently. Taking care of these units through air conditioning maintenance & regular AC filter changes is vital to keep them operating both efficiently and properly. There is nothing worse than having the AC die on the hottest day of the year – especially if you or a loved one suffers from asthma or other health issues.
As you can see air conditioning equipment, installations and warranties vary drastically so comparing work based on price alone could end up being the homeowner’s worst nightmare. At Francis Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning we provide you with a written quote upfront (no hidden surprises) and discuss all the details you need to make an informed cooling and heating decision based on facts.
Francis Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning is your service experts serving the Ottawa region including Kanata, Stittsville, Manotick, Nepean, Barrhaven, Rockcliffe Park, Orleans and the surrounding Ottawa area since 1933.
Already got a quote from someone else and want to know if what you are getting is going to fit your home and personal comfort needs?
Give us a call, we will gladly review their HVAC quote with you and give you an honest assessment of what they are offering you and if we can’t beat their quote we will give you a free gift certificate and will encourage you to go ahead with the other company’s quote.
We know that may seem like a bad way to do business giving the job to the other HVAC company but our goal has always been customers’ needs first! We want what is best for our neighbors and clients regardless of who provides the service in Ottawa.
Our honesty and integrity has made us well known in Ottawa for over 80 years which is why many homeowners trust us to care for their heating & air conditioning needs personally.