When Is It Time to Replace Your A/C Unit?
Your air conditioner has broken down yet again, leaving you sweating in the heat of the summer! Eventually, you will be faced with the tough decision of whether to replace the unit or keep making repairs. A new A/C can cost between $2,000 and $9,000 depending on the size required and your location. Sure, the repairs will save you money right now, but might the seemingly hefty price of a new A/C save you money in the long run? If you are making frequent repairs, the answer is probably yes. Here are a few questions to consider before you decide:
Has your air conditioning system had a major component failure?
If you have had problems with any of the four major air conditioning components of your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system, for example, the condenser, evaporator, line set, or blower, and you are having a problem again, it may be time to replace your A/C unit.
Does your air conditioner have to work harder and harder to keep your home or business cool?
Do you find that your A/C runs more frequently, for longer periods of time, or seems to labor to maintain a comfortable temperature? This is an indicator that a replacement unit may be needed.
Are your electric bills routinely high?
If you feel like your power company gives their Christmas bonuses from your combined monthly payments, it is probably time to consider a new air conditioner purchase! Take your electric bill and divide the amount due by the square footage of air conditioned space in your home or business—don’t include unfinished basements or garages. Contact your electric company and ask what the average cost per square foot is in your area. How does this compare to your figure? If yours is drastically higher, you may need a new HVAC system.
Lastly, does your air conditioning system require frequent repairs?
If your air conditioner is breaking down often and you are repeatedly calling a repairman, you should consider replacing your A/C system. If your unit is 10 years old or older, is failing to cool or heat certain areas of your home, needs frequent repairs, runs all the time or turns on and off too often, and produces high electric bills, your air conditioner is not running efficiently and should be replaced. The immediate cost is higher than the repair, but you will save money in the long run, especially if you purchase an energy efficient model bearing the Energy Star logo (on the right).
Reviewing Your Options
If you decide it is time to replace your old air conditioning system with a new A/C unit, have your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) contractor prepare a written estimate to protect you as a consumer and give you the peace of mind of knowing that you are dealing with a professional. Be sure the estimate includes:
- Type of A/C System
- Size of the A/C Unit
- Efficiency Rating
- Warranty information for parts and labor coverage
- Rebates, including any rebates from your local power company
- Price—Do the final costs include any electrical or duct work? Is your existing duct system the appropriate size for the new air conditioner you are considering buying? Are there any existing leaks in the duct work that could cause your system to lose efficiency?
Be sure to ask your HVAC contractor if a programmable thermostat will increase your savings over the long term, and if your ceiling’s insulation is sufficient. Additionally, you will want to know what available preventative maintenance programs your A/C service company has to offer. A new air conditioner can last an average of 10 years, and routine maintenance is vital to keeping your new A/C running efficiently for the life-span of the unit.
Feel free to get at least three estimates from different air conditioning contractors to ensure you are getting a fair quote!
Choose Your System
Do you need a Straight Cool System or a Heat Pump System?
A Straight Cool System is primarily a cooling system for hot climates. There may be a gas, oil, or electric strip heater included.
A Heat Pump System is equipped with heating and cooling equipment. It costs a little more than a straight cool system, but is less expensive (by about 50%) to heat your home or building with this type of HVAC System than with a strip heater. Hence, this type of A/C system is preferred in cooler climates.
AAA Able New A/C Sales, Installation, and Service
AAA Able has been in the air conditioning installation and repair business for 30 years. Our knowledgeable, friendly, technicians are ready to assist you every step of the way when considering new A/C options. As an FPL Participating Independent Contractor, we can help you receive valuable rebates on your new air conditioner purchase, and we will match any competitor’s price. Contact us today for more information!
More than 150,000 customers agree: AAA Able does the job right, fast, and won’t break the bank.