Replacing your air conditioner is never fun, but if you’re a homeowner, you’ll likely have to do it eventually. But how can you tell when it’s time to upgrade your system, and what should you look for in a replacement unit? In this quick guide, we’ll explain when an air conditioner should be retired, and how to get the most out of your investment in new cooling equipment.
Repair vs. replacement
When choosing between repairing and replacing, ask yourself these questions:
- How old is my system – If your system is over 10-15 years old, you’re better off replacing it, as the old A/C will run far less efficiently than a new high-efficiency air conditioner.
- What’s my system’s efficiency rating? – Even if your unit can be repaired, it can never be more efficient than it was at the time of manufacture. If the efficiency rating is low, you should consider an upgrade that will save you money in the long run.
- Was my equipment well-maintained? – A system that didn’t receive regular maintenance is probably in poor shape and will continue to break down.
Choosing the best A/C replacement
When upgrading to a new air conditioner, there are several things to consider:
- Type of system – Work with your contractor to evaluate whether you’d benefit from a split or package systems. Split systems utilize an outdoor metal cabinet housing the condenser and compressor with an indoor air handler with the evaporator (more economical for homes with a furnace but no current A/C), whereas package systems utilize one cabinet with all equipment located on a roof or next to the house.
- Sizing – Your HVAC technician will need to calculate your cooling load using the sizing protocol Manual J. This will ensure that your system is sized properly to keep your home cool and dehumidified while running at peak efficiency.
- Efficiency Ratings – The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) will indicate a system’s efficiency. Look for high-efficiency A/Cs with a SEER of 16 or greater. In our climate, with the long, hot cooling season, you’ll maximize energy savings with the higher efficiency levels.
For more advice on selecting a new air conditioner, or to schedule an A/C installation, contact the professionals at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We serve residents of the greater Orlando area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Air Conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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