You can never tell how the weather swings. One moment, it gets so hot there is nothing like an air-conditioned room to cool yourself from the heat. Another moment, it gets so cold you need a heater to keep yourself warm. It is important for you to have the right heating and air conditioning system for your home. Choosing the best system can be a tough task, what with so many available options to choose from. If you are considering installing a heating and air conditioning system for your home, here are some tips to make sure that you are getting the right one.
You can choose from these selections when shopping for air conditioners:
- Room. This unit can be conveniently installed directly into the wall. It can cool a single room or a small space.
- Package Terminal. A package terminal air conditioner (PTAC) is a self-contained unit that is ideal for larger spaces such as apartments, businesses establishments, offices, hospitals and the like. This unit can also convert into a heater, which gives you a two-in-one advantage. PTAC units also allow you to control heat and freeze settings as well.
- Portable. This unit allows you to control what room you want to cool by simply moving the unit to your desired area. This easy to install, dual-purpose unit comes with a heating function and a tube that exhausts heat out the window or through a wall opening.
- Window. This type of air conditioner fits into single, double-hung, casement and horizontal sliding windows and cool one or two rooms. It is also easy and quick to install as well.
- Through the wall. This cools one or two rooms and fits through wall hole, thus saving you window space. However, installing this unit requires more work than a window air conditioner since you still have to drill a hole in a wall and use a sleeve to install this unit.
- Ductless Split. This is similar to a central air conditioning unit in that it has a split design but uses air ducts, which makes it easier to install and less expensive as well. Inside the ductless split is the air handler. A compressor sits outside the house as well. Some ductless splits have two or more air handlers that use one compressor. When using this unit, you need to consider how many air handlers you will need. One air handler per room is usually recommended. It is also excellent for homes with open areas since it can cool more rooms.
On the other hand, you need to consider some factors when shopping for heaters, among which include BTUs, voltage and watts. Keep in mind that the outlet for plugging a heater may not be the same as the one you use for other appliances. Without proper understanding of these factors, your heater may not properly work.
- Voltage. Standard power outlets in the US are mostly at 120 and have a rate of 15 amps. Always remember not to use a heater that exceeds these ratings in order to avoid the risk of damage or even worse, fire. Also, do not use a 14-amp heater if your outlet is rated 15 amps alongside running other appliances on the same circuit at the same time, otherwise the breaker will trip. A 120-volt heater is ideal for homes, although there are some available heaters for home use at 240 volts, which is more powerful and efficient.
- Watts. Practically all 120-volt heaters have a rate of up to 1500 watts at maximum setting. This means a 120-volts/1500 watt heater can warm an area of about 150 square feet. A 5,000-watt heater can also heat an area of about 400 square feet as well.
- BTUs. Also known as British Thermal Units, BTUs are globally used in heating and air conditioning industries. 1 watt is equivalent to 3.41 BTU/hour while 1000 BTUs is equivalent to 293 watts.
Your manufacturer should also be able to give you more information on the right heating and air conditioning system for you. With these in mind, you can be comfortably cool or cozy all throughout!