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On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than a great air conditioner to cool things down. However, when that air conditioner fails to put out the cold air, you can be sure that you will be on the phone quickly to have it repaired or replaced. Without a doubt, nothing is as miserable as sitting in a hot home or office on a sweltering, humid day!

For existing air conditioning units, you need to have them maintained on a regular basis to keep them running at the ultimate level. When regular maintenance is done, the life of the unit is extended and you will be worry free when the summer comes while enjoying a lower energy bill.

For unit air conditioning units, you need to be sure that the filter is changed on a regular basis. Typically, this is a simple process of pulling out the old filter and popping in the new one. In between the times when the filter is not changed, you want to clean it about once a month. This can be done by vacuuming it off or even brushing it off. When this is done, the unit will work better and produce colder air. During the wintertime when the air conditioning is not being used, it should be removed and stored in a dry area.

For the central air conditioning units, you want to have a professional do the work. He or she will have the knowledge and tools required to make any repairs or do any tune ups. Your job during the year is to keep any debris and leaves out of the unit. During the fall, you can buy a cover for your unit at hardware or home improvement stores for a very affordable rate. Additionally, if your air conditioner has filters, be sure they are changed three or four times throughout the season.

In most cases, a good air conditioner will last anywhere from 12 to 16 years if it is taken care of as mentioned. If you need to replace your existing unit, by looking at your options before heading out to buy, you will save time and money. You will find that units come in all sizes, styles, BTUs, and costs.

If you are shopping for a window unit, you want to determine the size of unit and the number of BTUs it produces. Additionally, you want an EER, which is an energy rating or no less than 11. Other considerations include timers, speeds, remote control option, reusable air filters, airflow, and noise. To determine the right size for your home or office, consider the BTU guideline below:
  • 12 x 12-foot � 5,000 BTU
  • 16 x 16-foot � 7,000 BTU
  • 20 x 20-foot � 10,000 BTU
  • 24 x 24-foot � 14,000 BTU
For large central air units, the size of your home, number of windows, and level of insulation are all considerations. Although you might pay a nominal fee, your best option is to have an air-conditioning professional come to your home to determine the size and type that you need. When you do find a couple of styles that interest you, be sure to ask about warranties and be sure to compare price. Next, you need to hire a contractor to install the unit.

You want a unit that has a SEER (or EER) rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher the rating, the better the unit and as mentioned, never go below 11. This guarantees that your unit is excellent for efficiency. In other words, you will enjoy cold air without the high cost.
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