The recent heat wave that is scorching the nation has caused a lot of talk about air conditioning.  My friends and family who don’t currently have air conditioning are begging me to help find them contractors, and give them advice on purchasing the right AC unit because of my role with Porch.  In a couple months Porch will do all the work for you, but for now I’ve made a guide to help steer your A/C shopping in the right direction.

I’ve found that a lot of people end up overspending on air conditioning systems that aren’t efficient and are over-sized.  About one third of home air conditioners don’t work properly because they are over-sized.  Your utility bill will go through the roof if this is the case, so do your research!

Hiring a contractor can be tricky, but a necessity when it comes to getting an air conditioner installed.  (Once Porch.com is live, you’ll be able to search for the perfect contractor in your area!)  Before you talk with your contractor, I would recommend learning the terminology.  Lowe’s has a great article on what to consider when buying a new air conditioning system, here.  Very briefly summarized, you should pay attention to the BTU, EER, and type of thermostat, filter, fan, and chassis when looking at different options.

Here’s a great resource with advice on what to expect when buying a new air conditioner, and hiring the right contractor.

And finally, here’s the top rated central air conditioners for 2013.

If you’ve seen the weather forecast lately, it looks like record-breaking heat waves are going to be hitting all over.  I’m in Seattle and it’s been in the 90’s the last few days – maybe I’m overreacting since we’re not used to this kind of heat in the northwest, but coming home to a newly purchased air conditioner in scorching heat sounds like my idea of heaven!

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Top image credit: Tiek Build Homes