An AC system is a significant investment in your home comfort, but like any piece of complex technology, it has a finite lifespan. If an AC system is regularly maintained, it could last as long as 10 years and still have reasonable efficiency. But, if it hasn’t been looked after, it will start to lose efficacy and efficiency far earlier. This leads to a lack of cooling power, higher energy bills, and more frequent repair bills as components fail. Eventually, the AC system will stop working altogether, and this always seems to happen when you need it most. So, if your AC system is on its last legs or it has failed, what happens next?
The Major Decision
There are only two options available to a homeowner with a failed or failing AC system.
- Ignore the Problem
This first option is the least appealing. Hanging on to an AC system that doesn’t work too well is the route that many people take to “save money”. They may try to “fix” the system using DIY methods or simply ignore the problem and deal with the lack of cooling. Some people may call on an amateur “handyman” to “repair” the AC system, but this will fail because the system is simply too old to handle the workload. Struggling through a hot summer with an AC system that does little more than make annoying sounds and run up energy bills is no joke. Some homeowners may attempt to install a new AC system on the cheap to save money, but this is risky. An amateur “installer” or a DIY attempt is unlikely to use a proper load calculation. So, the new AC system may be the wrong size, making it less effective and less energy efficient. A poor air conditioning installation will not work correctly, and it can make the situation far worse, leading to cold spots, short cycling, equipment failures, and even mold growth.
- Call a HVAC Specialist
Calling a local HVAC specialist is a far better option because they will carry out a professional installation. Let’s face it; you already know the problems, frequent repairs, refrigerant leaks, little to no cooling power, and rising energy bills. If a repair is possible, but it will cost half the price of a new AC system, it’s more cost effective to replace the equipment instead. A new AC system will be energy efficient, and it will have all the latest features to keep your home comfortable. It’s a good idea to call the HVAC specialist before the AC system fails entirely, so you have a chance to discuss your options before the replacement is scheduled.
Which is the Best Option?
It should be obvious that the second option makes the best financial sense. A local HVAC specialist may cost more, but you get what you pay for, and the energy savings alone are worth the investment. But, once you made the decision to hire a professional, how do you choose an AC system that will meet your needs?
4 Pro Tips to Purchase Your New AC System
- The SEER Rating
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating or SEER value is a figure used to evaluate the efficiency of an air conditioning system. The higher the number, the greater the efficiency, but the highest numbers require more force to push the air through the filtration media. So, you can quickly reach a point of diminishing returns when the power required uses too much energy. For domestic purposes, a SEER value of 14 is more than adequate to make your AC system effective and energy efficient.
- Correct AC Unit Sizing
As we mentioned earlier, it is important to get your new AC system sized to your home. A load calculation is required to size your AC system, but many people try to save money by using an online calculator. They simply input the dimensions of their home and go with the AC system size suggested. This is a bad idea: a professional load calculation takes a lot of other factors into account, including air leaks, insulation levels, the layout of your home, and many others. Choosing an AC system that is too small or too large will have a dramatic effect on the efficacy and energy efficiency. A badly sized AC system may be more prone to failures, and the useful lifespan could be lowered. A load calculation is a complex formula, and it needs to be carried out by your local HVAC specialist. They have the training, tools, and experience to make an accurate load calculation.
- Fair Pricing
There is a great deal of price variance when it comes to an air conditioner system. The make, size, quality, and feature set can make it tricky to find the best deals. When you hire a local HVAC specialist to carry out your load calculation and install your system, they can offer valuable advice. Because they work in the HVAC industry, they can help you to find the best deals on the unit and any other equipment that you may need, such as ductwork or an upgraded thermostat. If you need financing, ask about their latest deals to spread the cost of your new AC system.
- Choosing Your HVAC Contractor
Look for a local HVAC specialist with a good track record and plenty of positive reviews. Bear in mind that some people are never happy and look at the overall trend instead. When you’re looking at pricing, don’t go with a contractor that seems to be too high or too low. An honest contractor will offer a fair market value for their services because they want to build lasting relationships with their clients.
If your AC system is starting to fail or it has already failed, contact your local HVAC specialist today. They can assess the condition of your system and recommend a repair or replacement. An experienced technician can also help with an accurate load calculation, equipment recommendations and a professional installation. This will help you to restore your indoor comfort levels for the hotter months ahead.