When faced with trouble with your air conditioner, you have two options: you can call someone to service your system, or you can upgrade to a new unit. Depending on many factors, a new unit may save you more time and money in the long run. There are a few criteria to check that will help you determine whether or not it’s time for an air conditioner replacement.
A properly maintained and serviced HVAC system will last an average of 10 to 12 years. How old is your existing system? If your system needs a repair, how many years do you realistically believe that it has left before needing another major repair, or worse? If your unit is nearing 10 years of age, it may be time to think about an air conditioner replacement in the near future.
If your air conditioner is working at full capacity, but you still have some rooms in your home that are drastically warmer than others, it may be time to replace. Another thing that can tip you off that bigger problems are on the way is the humidity in your home. A system not operating to its full potential can leave your home much too humid in the summer, and the opposite in the winter. These are all signs that you may run into more trouble with the existing unit down the road.
When looking at an estimate for repairs, remember the rule of replacing a product when repairs exceed 50% of the cost of a new one. If the repair cost is low and your unit is reasonably new, a repair is most likely your best option. If the repair cost is 50% the cost of a new unit or more, an air conditioner replacement is the ideal course of action.
The coolant coursing through your HVAC system is what makes the comfortable temperatures in your home throughout the summer possible. In the past, the most widely used coolant was R-22 but has since been classified by the EPA as an ozone-depleting substance. What this means for the owners of systems still utilizing this coolant is that production will be phased out by 2020 and the already high price of R-22 coolant will only climb higher as the substance becomes more scarce. New air conditioners use the R-410A coolant, which is considered ozone-friendly and is much easier/cheaper to obtain. If your system uses R-22 coolant, it may be time to look at an updated model.
If you have an air conditioner that is more than 5 years old, it is definitely worth looking into how much it costs you monthly in electricity usage. If your unit is 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. Air conditioners are rated based on their SEER rating, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. New air conditioners have to meet the minimum rating of 14 SEER units in Texas, whilst many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less. There are benefits of upgrading to a new, high-efficiency unit include tax incentives as well as the money saved every month in the form of a lower electricity bill, not to mention less impact on the environment.
In Texas, the last thing you want is your air conditioner to break down mid-summer. You can help prevent an emergency air conditioner replacement by knowing where your air conditioner is in its lifecycle and planning accordingly. We will never replace your air conditioner if repair is a viable option — but if you are looking towards the future, we can install a new high-efficiency unit for you. Take a look at our options here.