Is it Time to Buy a New A/C Unit?
IAs we finally begin to shake off the bitter cold and start to envision patio parties, it’s time to turn our attention to the other side of the thermostat dial: the air conditioner and how it’s going to hold up to the spring weather and coming heat of summer.
For some of us, spring is time to simply replace an air filter and clean up around the outside condenser unit. For others, it’s time we give consideration to replacing that A/C unit. As always, it’s a great idea to schedule a Temp Control professional to do an inspection and basic maintenance as we switch seasons. But here are a few signals to also consider as we transition from winter to spring.
One indication that an A/C unit is reaching replacement age is if repair bills are starting to make a dent in your wallet. When you’re facing a repair bill that might cover a large chunk of a new unit, it may be time to spend that repair money on an entirely new system rather than get caught in a downward spiral of repairs.
Most air conditioners last between 12 to 15 years. Like any large appliance in a home, new advances in technology and materials continue to improve efficiency and can save money in the long run. If your unit is more than 10 years old, it’s time to take a serious look into replacing it.
When you are ready to explore a new system, study and understand the SEER rating of air conditioners. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is a calculation of a cooling unit’s seasonal output divided by the amount of energy it uses. It’s a lot like how we calculate miles per gallon in a car. A SEER rating of 13 is the minimum for most air conditioners. The maximum rating is 22. If your older unit is rated toward the lower end of the SEER spectrum, it might be time to consider replacing the unit for one that’s more efficient and that will more quickly cool your home and save you a few dollars in the long run.
In a related matter, if your unit is still using R22 coolant (commonly called Freon), it is absolutely time to consider making a change. The new refrigerant R410A, that was introduced in the mid ’90s, is the current standard for modern A/C units and is more environmentally friendly than R22. Remember, the two refrigerants are not interchangeable. To switch to R410A, you will need to completely replace the A/C unit.
It is important to note that the deadline in the United States to phase out R22 units is Jan. 1 of 2020. As of that date, no more R22 will be manufactured or imported, and R22 will not be legally available.
Finally, if your current A/C unit is simply not keeping your home comfortable and/or your energy costs seem to be getting out of control, it may be time to have Temp Control do an analysis of the home’s entire HVAC system. These may be signs that the system is indeed aging or that the home was installed with an incorrectly sized system. While it’s not necessary to replace a furnace and an A/C at the same time, it’s often wise to consider doing both simultaneously to avoid doubling up on labor costs and downtime of a heating or cooling system.
Temp Control will inspect your existing system and ductwork for leaks or other problems that may be contributing to poor circulation or energy loss. We want to make sure you’re outfitted with the right unit for your home. Replacing an A/C unit, of course, a large investment in time and money. Getting it done right is Temp Control’s priority–not only for your wallet, but for your peace of mind.
If you are in Westfield, Scotch Plains or Cranford, NJ and looking to have your A/C replaced, contact us today. We proudly serve Union, Middlesex and surrounding counties.