Staying cool and comfortable during hot summer weather is important. Air conditioners help keep your home comfortable, but with the different options available how do you know which one to choose? Check out these Calgary AC options to help you decide.
Types of air conditioners for Calgary homes
Window air conditioners
As the name implies, window AC units are placed in a window in your home. They blow cool air inside and eject hot air outside to lower the indoor temperature. Window units come in a variety of sizes to cool different sized rooms. They offer easy Air conditioning installation; simply secure the unit in a window and plug it in.
Portable A/C units
Portable AC units are self-contained, mobile units. You place one on the floor of a room and run the vent hose through a wall or window so it can exhaust heat outside. They are often noisier than other kinds of AC units and typically only cool rooms less than 500 square feet.
Ductless air conditioners
A ductless or split air conditioning system is becoming a more popular option for AC installation in homes without a forced-air HVAC system. The system contains two terminal units: one located outside the building and one located inside.
A/C installation for whole-home air conditioning
Central air conditioners are also made up of an exterior unit and an interior unit connected by refrigerant tubing. They make use of the same blower fan and ductwork as your heating system and are the most effective way to cool an entire home. Before an air conditioning install, it’s important to determine what size unit your home needs.
Keep your home cool and comfortable all summer by talking to an HVAC company about an air conditioning install. They can help you decide which type and size air conditioner is best to meet your needs.
Where to buy an air conditioner in Calgary
But where is the best place for Calgarians to buy a central air conditioner? And what do you need to know before making a decision? Here’s what you need to know.
Hardware chains and warehouse stores
Because the stores want to ensure the installation is done to their high standards, they are careful to choose reputable installers. The store you bought the unit from will be your primary contact and will manage appointments, scheduling, and warranty issues.
Brand-certified air conditioning installers
Would you prefer to support a hard-working local business? There are hundreds of independent, locally-owned installers in Calgary. They handle all aspects of the job, including quoting, scheduling and installation. Installers can be generally found through a quick Google search.
Full-service providers: Companies like Advanpro offer air conditioner installation as part of a comprehensive service offering…that includes air conditioner maintenance, duct, and furnace cleaning, furnace, and plumbing services. These companies will typically employ multiple installation teams, allowing them to provide timely service even during the peak season.
The advantage of choosing a full-service company is that you can also take the opportunity to have your ducts cleaned so that your new unit isn’t blowing dust particles into your home. Many will give you the option of signing up for an annual maintenance program, to keep your unit running in tip-top shape for years to come.
Smaller owner/operators: These small businesses consist of an owner/operator who may employ a small staff. As these companies get busy, the limited staff can impact scheduling.
How to choose an A/C installation company in Calgary
Now that you know the options, how do you determine the best place to buy your air conditioner? Here are five tips to help you choose.
1. Get multiple quotes: We suggest getting quotes from 3-5 companies. It’s always a good idea to have the installer visit your home before providing a quote, as this can identify any potential issues that may impact the price (eg. venting concerns, etc.).
2. Research the brands: Make sure you are getting a quote from a reputable brand. Lennox and Trane are the market leaders. Be leery of lower-priced ‘bargain’ models, as you may be sacrificing quality and durability.
3. Ask how soon it can be installed: Find out the company’s installation schedule so you are not stuck waiting as the temperature starts to climb. This year, expect AC units to be in high demand.
4. Ask about financing options: Home air conditioners will typically cost between $4,000 and $8,500. If you don’t have money in the bank and want to avoid inflated credit card rates, many companies offer low monthly payments at competitive rates.
Long-term financing is a great option for those who want to minimize monthly payments. Many independent installers (including Advanpro) provide the option of no payments and no interest for 6 months. After that, the payments revert to an amortized loan over 10-15 years. Your financing application can usually be approved within a few minutes.
If you’d prefer to pay off your air conditioner sooner, ask your installer about their short-term financing offers. Advanpro offers the option of 0% financing on terms of 12, 24, or 36 months. The longer the term, the lower the monthly payment.
An advantage of financing is that it allows you to purchase a higher quality unit (or one with more options and features) without dramatically increasing the monthly payments.
5. Check the reviews: When choosing an installer (including the big box stores) do your homework. Customer rating services such as Google Reviews or HomeStars are a smart place to start.