From energy efficiency to general reliability, today’s air conditioners are working better than ever due to the newest innovations and improvements that manufacturers have brought to the forefront in recent years.
As air conditioners age, they become less effective and more prone to emergency breakdowns. If your air conditioner is getting up there in years, here are five reasons why a new air conditioner can be a quality investment for years to come.
More often than not, throwing money at an old air conditioner is less cost effective than replacing it with a new one. When vital components start to fail, repairs can be more of a band-aid than actual long-term fixes. The best way to fix problems with some components, such as the compressor, is to replace the entire air conditioner. If your air conditioner is older than 10 years, and you find yourself scheduling repair after repair when parts fail, or performance doesn’t measure up, it’s time to consider upgrading.
According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost of replacing an air conditioner is $5,442. This number can be higher, or lower, depending on where you live, how large your home is, and what kind of system you’re buying. While this price may seem high, repairs to your existing air conditioner can approach, or even exceed, the costs of replacing it.
On the fence about repairing versus replacing? Consider the 5,000 rule. Take the age of your air conditioner and multiply it by the quoted repair cost. If the number is more than $5,000, you should consider replacing the air conditioner. For example, a 12-year-old unit with an $500 repair comes out to $6,000, showing that replacement is more cost effective.
While the upfront costs of a new air conditioner may give you pause, the fact is, you can’t put a price on reliability. Air conditioning technology has come a long way in the last decade or so, and newer systems are less prone to breakdowns than ones with years of wear-and-tear. Instead of holding your breath and hoping for the best every time you reach for the thermostat, enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your air conditioner can handle whatever trials the sweltering summers put it through.
Newer air conditioning units are exceptionally energy efficient, particularly those with high seasonal energy efficiency ratios, or SEER. Many utility companies and government agencies offer tax credits and rebates that serve as incentives for homeowners to switch to more energy-efficient air conditioners. Replacing your old air conditioner with an energy-efficient one is a great way to save on your energy bills while also helping the environment.
Rebates, tax credits, and other incentives change frequently, and the amount of money you receive will depend on things like where you live, what the system costs were, and more. However, it’s easy to keep track of current incentives offered by the organizations below.
Most air conditioners use one of two refrigerants: R-410A, also known as Puron, or R-22, also known as Freon. Beginning in 2010, R-22 was discontinued following an agreement by the EPA to phase out substances that damage the ozone layer. By 2020, R-22 will no longer be imported or produced. It’s being phased out for a newer refrigerant, R-410A, which is more environmentally friendly.
If your current air conditioner uses R-22 as its refrigerant, your window for having it repaired is very small. As it stands now, repairs with R-22 refrigerant are more expensive because there’s simply less of it being produced. It’s best to replace the unit all together with one that uses R-410A, to guarantee that it will be supported for years to come.
Did you remodel your home with an add-on or expanded living area in recent years? If so, your home may require a larger system now than it did when it was first built. An air conditioner that’s too small won’t be able to cool your home effectively, leaving you with warmer temperatures than you’d like. An undersized air conditioner will also run constantly, and run up your electric bill in the process.
There’s also a possibility that your current air conditioner was the wrong size from the beginning. Some HVAC professionals report that as many as 80% of the homes they service have oversized air conditioning units. An oversized air conditioner is prone to short cycling, as it’s too powerful for the home it’s in, and doesn’t need to complete a longer cooling cycle. If your air conditioner doesn’t complete a long enough cycle, it won’t remove humidity from the air. While this may not sound like a problem in a dry climate like Phoenix, when monsoon season starts in the summer you may find that your home is stickier and muggier than you like.
Oversized air conditioners also experience wear and tear at a much faster rate than properly sized air conditioners. This shortens the lifespan of the system dramatically, potentially putting you in a position where you need to replace a system years before you should. But, the good news is, you can purchase a properly sized air conditioner and save yourself from future expenses caused by an improperly sized system.
For maximum energy efficiency and a system that’s sized just right for your home, you need to work with experts. Thankfully, Chas Roberts has over 75 years of experience installing air conditioners all over the Valley. Our knowledgeable technicians can set your home up for years of cool, clean air with a new air conditioner installation. Whether you’re ready to make the purchase or have other heating, cooling, or plumbing questions, contact us to experience what sets Chas Roberts apart from countless others in our field.