Air Conditioning Buying Guide

AC

Here’s a few insider tips from a company installing some of the first central air conditioning systems over 80 years ago. PDM has replaced thousands of old, inefficient or broken cooling systems by not cutting corners but by meeting or exceeding safety codes.

Repair or replace.

Nearly half of homeowners who replace an air conditioner, act under duress. They replace the air conditioner because they have to; it broke down and could not be repaired or was too expensive to repair. These are often late season replacements. Over half change out their system when they do not need to make a replacement. Their most important reason for replacing the air conditioner is either that they are replacing the air conditioner at the same time they replace a furnace, they are replacing because they anticipate failure, they want to cut their utilities, they are tired of frequent repairs, or they want to improve comfort.

Air conditioning is an expensive appliance and the last thing you want is to be ripped off by a contractor who tells you you need to replace when it can be repaired, then gives you a low price and a promise to install in a few hours.

If you need an honest second opinion, A licensed PDM technician will be happy to come out for a free evaluation. Here are a few points to be aware of when investing in a new AC:

What brand is best?

Almost everyone asks about good brands. The big secret in our industry is there are only a handful of HVAC manufacturers in the US but they operate under well over 100 brand names! What that means is most air conditioning systems have the same safety features, compressor, controls, parts and efficiencies with many of these components coming from even fewer companies.

The bottom line is there is not much difference in brands.

After installing some of the first AC system in the area in the 1930’s, we’ve seen brands come and go, but most have the same life cycle if maintained annually. In the end we believe a brand equals about ten percent of the value with ninety percent coming from the installation.

Finding the right installer. Don’t assume all contractors are the same. 

Please understand a central AC system is only as good as the installation work done. We’ve seen how a great contractor can install a poor AC, and he will often stand behind it if it fails. Likewise a poor contractor can royally screw up a perfect AC, and will leave you abandoned to fend for yourself.

Cutting corners is easy for a contractor and you may never know. If you are given a low price and told they can install in a few hours, be suspicious. Consumer Reports says finding a contractor you can trust is the most important decision you can make.

Avoid basing your decision on the cheapest air conditioning price or quickest installation time. Consider the lifetime costs of your AC system. Fuel, maintenance, repairs, even inconvenience add up over 10 to 20 years. If a cheap installer cuts corners, doesn’t ask questions or makes assumptions, you’ll pay more over its lifetime. If a larger system is recommended make sure you know all the reasons.

Warranties.

This is one element of an AC brand that gives you value. Besides our economy model, PDM and Amana offers the most comprehensive limited warranty coverage of any air conditioner on the market.

Call PDM air conditioning experts for free advice and free estimate. Ask about the latest rebates on new energy efficient air conditioning systems.

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