After months of cold and snow, summer has finally arrived in Calgary. Your lawn has been freshly mowed, the pool has been cleaned and chlorinated and the patio furniture is out on the deck … but what about your air conditioner? Is it up to the job of a hot Calgary summer? Here are some things to look for when you are looking to replace or purchase your first air conditioner.

Let’s first look at the types of air conditioners. There are different types of air conditioners for different purposes, ranging from portable air conditioners for 300 to 400 square feet, window-mounted air conditioners for 300 and 1,600 square feet, and wall-mounted air conditioners as well. So if you only want to keep one room cool, you might choose a portable air conditioner as you can move it throughout the house from room to room. You can easily move a window-mounted air conditioner once the season changes, and a wall-mounted air conditioner can save you money as it is sealed permanently, keeping more cool air inside the home.

When shopping for an air conditioner, there are many different options that can come with the unit, such as:

  • Filters with easy access: This makes it easier for you to clean the filter as needed; a normal household should change their filter monthly, so having easy access is a luxury! Why should you change your filter, you ask? One big reason is to save you money – the more gunk and particles in a filter, the harder an air conditioner has to work to make your air cool – and once it gets completely clogged, it will not work at all!
  • Energy-saving: Not only are these units more “green,” and easier on the environment, they are easier on your pocketbook as well! These units use less electricity than regular air conditioners, which will cut down on your hydro bill.
  • Humidifier/dehumidifer: Air conditioners aren’t just for the summer any more! These units can make a hot, sticky day cool and crisp with the dehumidifier and add moisture to those dry chilly winter days.
  • Multiple settings: Some units will have more than one setting; instead of just an off and on button, you can set what temperature you would like.
  • Timers: Instead of letting your air conditioner run through the night, or during the day when you’re not home, a unit with a timer can turn on at a certain time in the afternoon so you can come home to a cool air conditioned house.
  • Remote control: Everyone loves remote controls! With one of these units, you can turn your air conditioner on from the comfort of your couch – or bed, whatever the case may be.
  • Noise level: Some air conditioners are guaranteed to run quietly, allowing you to get your 40 winks of sleep at night without having to ignore the jet engine next to your bed.