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Beat Montreal’s Heat—How to Find the Best Air Conditioner

July 26, 2013

Beat Montreal’s Heat—How to Find the Best Air Conditioner


Beat Montreal’s Hot and Humid Summers

Air conditioners can make all the difference in your home and work environments; and it's vital to install the right one. There are quite a few things to take into consideration and you may want to consider hiring a Montreal general contractor to assess your property before making a commitment.

Type of unit

If air conditioning isn't a major concern but you'd like a little climate control, it's possible that you might just need a portable unit. For most domestic properties and small workplaces, the best solution is a window unit, or a through-the-wall unit. Larger premises will need a central unit that maintains the whole building and allows you to control temperatures centrally.

Air conditioner specs

British Thermal Units, or BTUs, are defined as the amount of heat required to heat 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Air conditioning unit capacity is measured in BTUs and checking this will give you an idea of how much you can control the room temperature. A portable air conditioner can process around 3000 BTUs, while a through-the-wall unit can process more than 20,000 BTUs.

Air conditioner capacity and room size

So what kind of capacity will you need? Obviously the size of each room being air conditioned will make a difference here, but there are several other factors:
  • The number of windows in the room
  • The surrounding insulation
  • The average range of temperatures occurring in the room without air conditioning
  • The number of people who regularly use the room—this can make a big difference!
You can find BTU calculators online to give you an indication, but in general it’s a good idea to get a professional such as a Montreal general contractor to inspect the premises.

Finding the most efficient model

You're probably already aware that air conditioning can be a considerable expense in terms of electricity. It doesn't have to be though, and correctly assessing your requirements in BTUs, you'll have taken the first step towards bringing those utility bills down.
The second step is to look at the efficiency of the unit you plan to install. It's a relatively simple equation; simply compare the BTU capacity to the energy usage of the unit. This ratio is known in the industry as the Energy Efficiency Ratio and should be clearly marked on the unit you purchase, allowing you to make an informed decision.

When to purchase your new air conditioning unit

Buying a new AC in the summer can be tricky as most other people will have the same idea. Put simply, the best time to look at your AC needs is in winter when there's lower demand and units may be available at a discount. Contact your local authority as well, as there may be incentives available on energy efficient units or tax credits available for those looking to upgrade. And to make sure you’re getting the best AC for Montreal’s conditions, talk to a local Montreal general contractor like Dilamco.
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