Servicing the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions.

Air Conditioner Buying Guide

Are you looking to upgrade the air conditioner in your home? Or perhaps you’re buying the first air conditioner for your new home?

Regardless of your needs, when it comes time to purchase an air conditioner, the large selection of brands, models, and styles can make the process feel overwhelming.

This air conditioner buying guide will help you make an informed decision and alleviate the stress surrounding a cooling system purchase.

Explore Your Options

Before you start comparing models and brands, you’ll first need to decide which style of air conditioner is best for your home, and that’s why our buying guide will first explore the options available.

Central Air Conditioners

Central air conditioners are the most popular cooling system option, especially in newer homes. These systems use an outdoor condenser unit to expel the warm air that is removed from inside your home, and an air handler located inside your home in line with your furnace, which is responsible for dispersing the cool air. These systems rely on ductwork to spread the cool air throughout your home and return air ducts to direct air towards your air conditioner. Installing ductwork in a home that doesn’t already have it can be expensive, which means these systems are best suited to homes that are already equipped to handle them.

Ductless Systems

Many older homes, and even some modern homes, were built without ductwork, which makes installing a central air conditioner a big job. Luckily, ductless cooling systems are an excellent way to cool your home if it doesn’t have pre-existing ductwork. Ductless systems use an outdoor condenser unit that is similar to those used by a central air system, and a series of wall or ceiling mounted air handlers disperse the cool air. The various air handlers can be controlled independently, which allows you to create cooling zones throughout your home. These systems can be installed seamlessly in any home, and they are available in two styles.

Ductless Air Conditioners

Ductless air conditioners act solely as cooling systems, and they are the perfect choice for homes that rely on electric or boiler-fed radiators for heat. Although they were designed to act as a primary cooling source, they can also be used as a supplemental unit to help you cool the rooms around your home that tend to be much warmer during the summer.

Ductless Heat Pumps

In terms of their appearance and components, ductless heat pumps are almost identical to ductless air conditioners, but they have the ability to both heat and cool your home. Homeowners who live in a home without ductwork that require both a heating and cooling system should focus their attention on ductless heat pumps as they work their way through our air conditioner buying guide.

Ratings & Efficiencies

As you shop for a new air conditioner, it can be tempting to focus on the price tags, but the cost to run your cooling system is what is important. That’s why this section of our buying guide focuses on ratings and efficiencies.

MERV Rating

A MERV rating is the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and the rating was developed to measure how effective an air filter is at removing pollutants and particles from the air being dispersed throughout your home. The higher the MERV rating of a filter is, the more efficient it will be. 

SEER Rating

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it is the rating that determines how efficient an air conditioner is. Essentially, the higher the rating is the more efficient the air conditioner will be, and the less money you’ll have to spend on your monthly utility bills.

Air Conditioner Upgrades

Although your focus should be on which air conditioner you are going to purchase, a cooling system is only as good as all of the components that make it up, and that’s why our comprehensive air conditioner buying guide includes additional components.

Smart Thermostats

The most basic function of any thermostat is to control the temperature output by your heating and cooling systems, but it can be much more than that. Smart thermostats allow you to get the most out of your cooling system by giving you complete control from anywhere using a wireless device. These thermostats make your cooling system as efficient as possible and work to save you money on your monthly bills all while increasing your overall home comfort.

Whole Home Air Purifiers

All cooling systems use air filters to remove pollutants and contaminants from your household air to help you breathe easier, but your household air can always be cleaner. Whole home air purifiers improve your overall air quality and are much more effective than their portable counterparts. These systems can be directly in line with your cooling system and require minimal maintenance.

Purchasing Options

Once you have found the right cooling system option, you’ll need to decide how you would like to make your purchase. A new cooling system is an investment in your home and your home comfort, but an outright purchase can be outside of some homeowners’ budgets. Not to worry, there are several financing options and rebates available to ease the financial stress of purchasing a new air conditioner, and it’s something many other air conditioner buying guides leave out.


Financing is a far better choice than renting because your payments go towards ownership of your cooling system rather than never-ending fees.


Even if a new cooling system is in your budget, who doesn’t love saving money. There are always rebates available, whether it’s through your HVAC dealer or the government, to help you save money on a new air conditioner. The best time to search for rebates on air conditioners is during the off-season when fewer homeowners are looking for new cooling systems.

Protecting Your Investment

Air Conditioners are an investment, as we noted, and it’s important to protect them as such. The best way to ensure you get the most out of your new air conditioner is to schedule routine maintenance and keep your warranty valid.

Manufacturer Warranties

Be sure to explore the warranty that comes with your new air conditioner before you make a purchase. Most warranties are fairly standard, but some are better than others, and it’s important to know what you’ll be covered for and for how long.

Protection Plans

A warranty will cover you in the event of manufacturer’s defects on parts or in the event of a total system failure in some cases, but they won’t cover the installation of your replacement parts or system. They also don’t cover the maintenance required to keep your system running at its best or the annual service appointments necessary to keep your warranty valid.

Protection Plans are a stress-free way to keep your system running efficiently and effectively, and they come with several other perks as well, including different levels of repair coverage.

Why Choose a Fahrhall Protection Plan?

Peace of Mind

Regular inspections and maintenance keep systems operating safely, reliably and at peak efficiency.

Professional Technicians

All of our technicians are fully licensed, trained professionals. You can trust your HVAC system is in good hands.

Affordable Protection

Furnace and air conditioner plans start as low as $9.92 a month (taxes included).

Flexible Coverage

You have the ability to add plans for all the systems in your home.

Following this buying guide can help you find the best system for your home and reduce the stress of buying a new cooling system, but it’s no match for a consultation with an experienced HVAC technician.

Need help finding the right air conditioner for your home?

Get a free quote from the experts at Fahrhall!

Fahrhall has been proudly serving the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions since 1967. We are committed to providing our customers and our community with reliable service and quality equipment. 

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