While the air conditioning season is far from over, the end of the summer marks the time when homeowners contemplate whether or not they should replace that air conditioner that’s been giving them trouble over the last few months. The answer will vary from person to person but here are the main things to consider when faced with this difficult decision:
Does your unit constantly need repairs?
Here’s a shocking fact: the price you pay for your air conditioning unit upfront could be only a small percentage of the total amount you will be paying over the lifetime of this equipment. The majority of this expense is spent on utility bills and repairs and can even out to be as much as $35,000 spent on your air conditioner over its lifetime.
Taking that into consideration, it makes sense to invest in the best possible unit from the beginning to minimize costly repairs and maximize efficiency. What you save in the short-term you will pay for in the long-term so you have to ask yourself would you rather save a bit of money now or a lot of money over time?
One of the ways to make this decision easier is to take into account how much you’ve spent on repairs in the past and add to it how much the current repair will cost. Divide this figure by the number of months you’ve been making repairs to the unit to get an idea of how much your air conditioner is costing you in repairs every month. If this amount seems exorbitant and you feel like you’re constantly repairing your unit and being hit with high energy bills, your heating and cooling equipment may need an update.
How efficient is your current system?
Here is yet another area where you must take into account how you can benefit from the long term benefits of a more energy-efficient unit. According to Energy Star, upgrading a 10-year-old unit to a new Energy Star-qualified model can save you about 30% on your energy bills. Imagine how much you could be saving over the years as that money adds up. Plus, that’s not even taking into account the amount of money you’d be saving on repairs and maintenance for an upgraded unit.
Air conditioner efficiency is measured in SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is the standard used to measure the efficiency of AC equipment. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficiently the air conditioner will run. When looking to replace your unit, you’ll want to choose one with a SEER rating of at least 15. Doing so will help protect not only your investment but also the environment.
How old is your AC unit?
As we mentioned in “What is the lifespan of my HVAC system?” your air conditioner can last 20 years or even more, but the efficiency of the unit can start to noticeably decline after just 10. You should be able to find the model and SEER rating on the label of your outdoor unit if you want to get an idea of how old your unit is and if you’re coming up on the time to replace it.
Once you have an idea of how much your current air conditioner is costing you in repairs and energy efficiency, you can compare it to the cost of a new unit. While we can’t predict the needs of every household, we can assist in choosing the best option for you and your family. With these simple steps, we can help you to make the most informed decision. We are available to help you assess your current system and help determine its age and efficiency. We can help you decide if now is the right time to replace that old system. Check out our website or give us a call at 757-427-0016 and we’d be happy to come out and see what the best option is for you.