February 27, 2024

5 mins

Air Conditioning in Vancouver: Everything You Need to Know

With longer and hotter summer days, an air conditioner has become more than just an add-on. It has become a necessity.

Not only does AC give you relief from the sun’s sweltering rays, it can also save you from indoor heatstroke. However, investing in a unit isn’t something you can do on a whim, especially with its costly price tag. You’ll want to research extensively to know if you're getting your money’s worth.

To help you, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about residential AC units in Vancouver.

Do You Need an AC in Vancouver?

Yes, installing AC in Vancouver can help you during summer heat waves. While Vancouver has a relatively mild climate, heatwaves are becoming more common and dangerous. So much so that in 2021, temperatures reached a scorching 40°C, killing about 600 people. Because of this, the Vancouver government has increased initiatives to install ACs in residential homes and buildings.

Vancouver Regulations about Residential AC Units

Before installing an AC in Vancouver, you must check the necessary laws and regulations in your area and building. You also need to apply for city permits, depending on the type of AC system you’re installing.  

For example, if you live in a condominium or apartment building, you must check your strata bylaws and rules. If you own your home, you’ll have to apply for electrical, mechanical, and building permits.  

You’ll also want to consider checking the criteria for BC rebates before anything else. By doing so, you make sure that your new air conditioner meets the requirements. Plus, you can get extra financing for your HVAC installation.

What are the Best AC Units?

Not all AC units are the same. That's why it’s critical to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type to find the best unit for you. To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of the air conditioners in Vancouver:

  1. Central AC. This connects to a central system, allowing you to cool your entire home with one unit. But that also means you can’t control the temperature of individual rooms unless you have a smart home device installed.
  2. Window AC. This type is attached to the window frame and can only cool one room. As such, it doesn’t take up floor space and allows you to control the temperature of individual rooms. But window ACs aren’t ideal if you’re looking to cool a big home with several rooms.
  3. Portable AC. This can easily be transported from one room to another, which makes it easy to store away when summer is over. But because they’re small, their cooling capacity is limited.
  4. Packaged AC. This system uses a central system to cool your home and comes with a heating system. This means that you have a cooling and heating system in one. However, packaged ACs are more susceptible to weather damage as they’re often placed outdoors.
  5. Ductless Mini-Split. This one doesn't need ducts, so they’re easy to install and can be used in any type of home. It also lets you control the temperature of each room. However, ductless systems can be expensive.

How to Pick an Air Conditioner in Vancouver

To choose an air conditioner that best fits your home and needs, consider the following:

  • Size of your home. Buying a unit that’s too big or too small for your home will result in a shorter AC lifespan and a higher energy bill. Instead, you want an AC unit that’s the right size for your home.
  • Number of rooms in your home. The number of rooms also affects the size of your unit. Naturally, the more rooms you have, the higher the tonnage.
  • Age of your home or building. Installing ductwork, piping, and electrical systems in older homes can do more harm than good. That’s why it’s important to consider the age of your structure when buying an AC.
  • Energy capacity of your home or building. AC units require a lot of energy, especially if you use it frequently. So, check with your electrician or HVAC technician if your home or building has the capacity for an AC unit.
  • Your budget. Some air conditioners cost more than others, so keep your budget in mind when choosing a unit. Also, consider the ideal time when to buy an AC, as the off-peak season can lead to more affordable deals.
  • The climate conditions of your area. If you live in an area with frequent heatwaves, you’d want an air conditioner with stronger power. Conversely, you don’t need a strong AC in a neighbourhood with a moderate climate.
  • The previous HVAC system of your home or building. It makes more sense to install an air conditioning system that’s compatible with your current ductwork than needing to redo it for a new system.

Air conditioners are a big investment, so put a lot of careful thought and research into your purchase. However, nothing beats the experience and expertise of a seasoned HVAC technician.  

By consulting with a reliable HVAC installer, you can better understand the best type of AC that suits your unique situation. Plus, they give you insight and advice into topics that can’t be found in books or the internet.

Looking for an HVAC professional?

At Mom’s Heating & Cooling, we only do premium HVAC installations and work with top-skilled technicians. Reach out today so you can feel comfortable and safe in your home.

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