Air conditioners can last as long as 20 years, but there’s no real way to pinpoint exactly how much longer before your system needs to be replaced. This means that an A/C system could become less efficient or fail at any time without prior warning. System failure or a loss in performance are certainly justifications for having your A/C replaced. But, before the air conditioner can be replaced, there are several factors you must consider.
A Contractor Evaluation
Before choosing a new unit, have your home evaluated by a contractor to ensure you’re purchasing the right system for your needs. During this evaluation, the contractor will perform a load calculation to determine the size of the unit you need.
The evaluation will also include information on whether or not air ducts should be sealed, resized, replaced or insulated. You will also learn about the set and brand of the inside and outside evaporators coils you’ll need for the air conditioner installation. This set and brand-matching is important because coils that don’t come in a set from the same brand won’t meet efficiency, capacity and performance expectations.
How Energy-Efficient is the New Air Conditioner?
Energy efficiency is incredibly important these days. More efficient appliances save energy and money. SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, measures the efficiency of an air conditioning unit. By law, the minimum SEER rating for an air conditioner must be 13 or more.
However, the higher the rating the more energy-efficient the unit. So, units with SEER ratings of 14 to 22 are considered energy efficient and will help to keep your energy bills down. This means you should be looking for units with a rating of 14 or more. Besides that, new units are 20 to 40 percent more efficient than most models made within the last 10 years.
What Size is the Air Conditioner?
Size matters when it comes to new air conditioning units. The new A/C should be large enough to cool your entire home without wasting energy. Systems that are too large cycle off and on frequently, which consumes a lot of electricity and reduces efficiency. So, an energy efficient model could cost you more if it’s too large for your home. On the other hand, if the unit is too small, it won’t cool your home properly.
If you have a load calculation performed, the contractor should be able to prevent a size disaster by accurately measuring your home in square feet. You will then use this measurement to calculate how many BTUs your new unit requires.
These are just three factors to consider when preparing for an air conditioner installation. There are several other factors to consider, such as finding the right HVAC specialist, system maintenance, price and even the features of the thermostat. For questions or information on purchasing a new air conditioner and having it installed by our experienced team, please call us.