Reasons to Consider Replacing Your A/C
If your air conditioning or heating system fails you are faced with a choice, either repair the existing unit by replacing parts or by buying a new air conditioner or heater. Some air conditioning and heating companies push a certain solution based on what is convenient or what method earns them the most money. You should decide whether to repair or replace a unit based on what is in your best interest. To help with this important decision we have gathered this important information for you to consider.
HOW A HIGHER EFFICIENCY RATING SAVES YOU MONEY
3 Main Factors
When considering whether to replace your existing unit the three main factors to consider are the life expectancy, efficiency, and current condition of the unit. Each must be considered carefully before you decide whether to repair or replace your air conditioning or heating unit. If any of these factors is a problem area, then you should consider replacement, and if two or three are problems, then replacement is almost always your best bet.
- LIFE EXPECTANCY
Most units last only eight to twelve years. After that point they become expensive to repair and break down often. After this time the parts are sometimes discontinued which causes them to be more expensive, if not completely unavailable. If you live in an area near the ocean or with a high salt content, the lifespan of your unit may be even shorter due to corrosion. Consider the age of your equipment when you decide whether to replace or repair your unit. If a unit is eight years old or older, it is nearing its life expectancy. You can add at least four years to this number if you have consistently had it professionally maintained during this time.
If you completely restore an aging unit, which is expensive to do, you will still only have the efficiency that it was rated for when it was manufactured at best. Older units are much less efficient than newer ones, due to constant improvement and increasing energy standards imposed by the government, so replacing your unit can save you money if your unit is old and inefficient. Units are rated by S.E.E.R. or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. An easy way to understand these ratings is as follows; a unit that is rated at 10 S.E.E.R. gets ten units of cooling for a set amount of electricity, a unit rated 14 S.E.E.R. gets 14 units for the same amount of electricity, so you get 40% more cooling for the same amount. Savings of up to up to 60 percent or more on your electric or gas bill is possible when you replace it with high efficient equipment. In a lot of cases installing a new air conditioning system can pay for itself in energy savings within a relatively short time.
- CURRENT CONDITION
Consider the current condition of your unit when you decide whether to repair or replace your air conditioning and heating unit. Factors to consider are the quality of the equipment (reputable brand, builder’s model, etc.), number of breakdowns, and how often the unit has been maintained. If your unit hasn’t been maintained or is an inferior quality or has frequent breakdowns, consider replacement as a serious option. No matter the skill of the installer or service professional there is little that can be done with a unit that is in very poor condition, besides restoring the unit, which is almost always prohibitively expensive.
Getting Professional Advice from a Reputable Company – A reputable company can help educate the consumer, so that they can make an informed decision about the replacement or the repair of an existing air conditioner or heater. Repairing your unit may be the cheapest solution in the short term, but may be more expensive down the road. If your unit is old, breaks down often and consumes more energy than a newer system, installing a new system can more than pay for itself over time. If not, then simple repairs may be the smarter option. A reputable company should be able to walk you through your options. In the end the decision is yours.
KEEP IN MIND ABOUT MATCHING SYSTEMS
Whenever your condensing unit goes out, most reputable air conditioning technicians will recommend that you replace your indoor air handler at the same time, because the two units must be matched so that your new outdoor unit can work at maximum efficiency. Improperly matched units will shorten the lifespan of your new unit. This is just one of the many pitfalls that need to be avoided when replacing a system. Do not make a serious mistake when buying a system. Consult a reputable professional.