Buying a new AC may not be at the top of your list of what you want to spend your hard-earned money on, but not replacing it when it’s time will often cost you more in the long run. It comes down to efficiency. Some of the signs to look out for are easy to see, such as:
- Is the unit over 10 years old?
- Does your home feel humid even when the unit is running?
- Is it unnecessarily noisy?
- Has your monthly bill increased?
- Is the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) number on your current unit 10 or under?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above, you are probably at a point where maintenance is required or, more likely, a new, more efficient unit should be considered.
Like anything mechanical, energy efficient and appropriately sized units are the key to optimum operating costs and peak functionality. Today’s air conditioners must have a minimum SEER rating of 13, and must use the more environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant. The most efficient models have SEER ratings up to 26. Still, even the most effective units work best when they operate in the ideal environment. Some questions to ask are:
Is your home well insulated to protect its interior from drafts/warm air?
- Is the duct system that distributes the cool air properly sealed?
- Do you have more than one return in your home?
If you suspect any issues exist, be sure to correct those before installing new units.
So if you believe it’s time to replace your AC unit, a tremendous selection is available at a wide range of price points. The right one, installed with an upgrade like a programmable thermostat, will provide an excellent return on your investment.