When to Consider Buying a New AC Unit for Your Home

As spring heats up into summer, Americans all over the country over will take to their annual pilgrimage to utility supply stores to buy new air conditioning units. When it is appropriate to get a new A/C? Should you repair or clean your old one, instead? What will the investment cost, and will it be worth it? How can you calculate the best unit for your budget? And where can you find an authorized dealer who has excellent consumer ratings and good reviews from places like the Better Business Bureau?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of these questions. So let’s start with the basics.
Before you spend hours clicking around the internet or driving around to different dealerships, first ask yourself a basic question: why do you want a new A/C?
Start with “purpose” and work backwards from there. Perhaps you just put a new addition on your house, and you recently discovered that it absolutely bakes during the midday hours. Or maybe you want to keep the temperature cool in your aging mother’s home; if the temperaturegoes above 77 degrees, she could suffer serious health consequences.
Once you have a clear answer to “why you want to buy” question, it’s time to think about “principles.” Start to fill in completions to the following sentence: “I would give anyone else completely free reign to buy and install my A/C unit as long as they…” Your completions constitute your principles. Here are a few ideas:

  • Maximize my energy efficiency
  • Make sure that my baby’s room stays relatively cool during hot summer months
  • Don’t have to replace my unit for at least five years
  • Made sure that unit has adjustable vent and multiple cooling speeds
  • Made sure that unit has a one-year full replacement warranty
  • Made sure that unit has an electrostatic filter and other filtration systems to remove dust,debris, and mold and spores from the air

Lastly, come up with your “vision” for the ideal A/C setup.
Engaging in “visioning” exercises can be a tremendously helpful way to save money and get precisely what you want…and no more. Here are some features, aspects, and qualities that might appeal to you:


  • Buy, install, and fine-tune your new A/C unit within the week
  • Have an expert help you calculate your electricity costs, to maximize your savings
  • Have someone help you choose the right cooling capacity for your room or rooms
  • Get an A/C during the “rebate” season – usually during the early to middle spring

Here are some other fine points to consider:


  • The energy efficiency ratio (EER) measures the effectiveness of a unit. The bigger the number, the more efficiency you should expect.
  • British thermal units per hour (BTU/hr) are the units for cooling capacity. Capacious living rooms may require enormous machines that generate 20,000 BTUs/hour; where as small offices may be able to get by with as little as 4,000 BTUs/hour.
  • Calculating your prospective electricity costs may be more difficult than you realize. Your power provider will change up the costs of your kilowatt hours based on your usage, the time of day you blast you’re A/C, the season and weather, and even variationsin the global energy markets.  In other words, the calculation is not easy! So give yourself some latitude in your budget.

Do you need help selecting, installing, or even just thinking about your new A/C unit? Or repairing an old? Connect with the team at B.A. Morrison. For over two decades in Castro Valley, our fully insured and bonded, BBB,  family-owned heating, ventilation, air conditioning and general construction company has helped BayArea home owners develop cost-effective and long-term solutions.   Learn about our history and resources at www.bamorrison.com, or connect with us today at 510-538-9817.


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