What To Consider When Upgrading Your AC System
Now that the warm summer months are here, you may have come to the realization that your tired, old air conditioning system just isn’t cutting it anymore. Air conditioning units generally last anywhere from 10-15 years while HVAC systems can last 15-20. Lack of cold air, poor airflow, moisture around the unit, unusual sounds, and more frequent repairs needed are some of the signs that it’s time for your AC to give up the ghost.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Energy efficiency technologies improve every year, so your older system is likely to be costing you much more to run than one of the newer models. This also means that newer ones are better for the environment too.
Before you invest in a new air conditioning system, there are a few things you should consider.
Out With the Old?
Are you keeping any parts of your old air conditioner? It may be more cost-effective to replace only the broken or inefficient part, such as the outside unit and keeping the inside components. If so, you need to make sure that your components match with regard to their efficiency and capacities. If there’s any doubt as to whether you can match them, it may be best to replace the whole thing and save yourself from an expensive repair down the road. Your HVAC technician can guide you on what you should replace.
Find the Right Size
Don’t merely replace your old system with a new one of the same size. Have your AC professional perform a cooling load calculation for your home that will give you a better idea of what specs you should be looking at. The calculation uses window placement, size, layout, energy efficiency, number of heat-generating appliances, landscaping like shade trees, expected occupancy, location of registers, and anything else that may have an impact on cooling. This calculation will give you the size air conditioner that would keep your home cool during the summer months. Ductwork must also be the right size for the unit and the home for good airflow. Finding the right size air conditioning unit will save you money in the long run because you’re not buying more air conditioner than you need or overloading one that’s too small. You may find that your old air conditioner was not the optimal size for your home.
Energy efficiency for air conditioners is measured with a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) number. The higher the number, the more efficient. Generally, most units on the market today range from a SEER number of 13 (minimum) to more than 20. Of course, the higher the efficiency, the more expensive the system. A high-efficiency system can be found around 16.
Inspect Before You Buy
Before jumping into buying a new system, you should find out why your old one isn’t quite cutting it anymore. Perhaps it just needs a good cleaning or it may be that you’ve just got a lot of air leaks in the ductwork. You may even consider having an energy audit done on your home to determine where the cool air may be leaving your home. It may be that all you need is sealed ductwork and better insulation for your current AC unit to do its job effectively and efficiently. Making sure your home is adequately insulated and leak-free will make any cooling or heating unit work more effectively.
Renaud Brothers Heating and Cooling is a family-owned and operated business serving the Wentzville area. Our expert HVAC technicians can help you determine whether or not you need a new system and if you do, we can install the right sized-system to meet your needs. AWe’re proud to stand by our work.
To learn more about this topic or are interested in services provided by Renaud Brothers HVAC, give us a call at (314) 578-4714, we would love to hear from you.