Is it Time to Upgrade Your AC?

“Everyone knows it’s expensive to replace the air conditioner, but we all know it needs to be done sometime. So how do you know when it’s the right time?  This article can help you determine just that.”

Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team

Knowing when to replace your hard-working air conditioner can be tricky. While it’s a major purchase that most people don’t make lightly, nobody wants to wake up to a broken air conditioner on a hot summer day.

There are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether or not it’s time to upgrade your AC. Here are few questions to ask yourself before you start shopping.

4 Questions You Should Ask When Wondering When to Upgrade Your AC Unit  

1. How old is your AC unit?

The age of your unit is the most important factor in deciding whether or not to replace it. A majority of HVAC technicians recommend replacing your AC if it’s 15 years or older. All AC units have a SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Today, the minimum SEER is 13, but if your AC was manufactured before 2006, chances are it’s only rated at a 10. Just by upgrading to the current minimum, you’ll gain at least three points on the SEER scale. Each SEER number you go up increases energy efficiency by 5 to 9 percent, so a 15 to 27 percent boost immediately puts money in your pocket in the form of energy savings.

2. How often should you perform HVAC maintenance and repairs?

The problem starts when your AC needs repair more than once a year. The more work your unit undergoes, the shorter its overall lifespan will be and the more likely it is that it will need repair again. Look over your receipts and calculate how much you’ve spent on AC repairs. If the total amount you’ve spent on repairs exceeds the cost of a new unit, it’s definitely time for a new one.

3. Is Your Energy Bill On the Rise?

As it gets older, your heating and air conditioning system may be getting less efficient. If your energy bills increase as the summer progresses, your AC unit may be working harder to cool the same space that it used to — and using more energy than necessary to do the job. When this happens, you’ll see a rise in energy consumption and cost. Upgrading to a new conditioner can reduce energy costs by an average of 20 to 40 percent. The savings you’ll see on your energy bill will help offset the cost of a new AC unit.

4. Is your AC cooling your entire home consistently?

If your air conditioner is having a hard time keeping up with your home’s demand for cool air, that’s a sure sign of trouble. Test this by setting your thermostat to your preferred temperature and walking into different rooms of your home throughout the day. If your AC is still working properly, there shouldn’t be a noticeable change in temperature from room to room. An efficient A/C unit will effectively cool your entire home without as much effort.

Originally published by American Home Shield

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