There’s nothing worse than sweltering in the house on a hot summer day, turning on the AC for some relief, and feeling only a faint whisper of coolness. When an older air conditioning (AC) unit fails to deliver on its cooling and drying promises, the unit may not need complete replacement.
Many times, all your AC unit needs is a bit of maintenance, a small repair or two, or an equipment adjustment. If it’s been a while since an HVAC professional inspected your air conditioning system, schedule a service call before you give up on your air conditioning unit. Below are some tips about repairing and replacing your air conditioner.
There Are Times to Give Up
Ten years go by fast when you own a home. And ten years are about as long as you can expect some AC units to last. This fact is especially true if you’re not fastidious about maintenance.
With care, a modern AC unit may last up to 30 years. If your AC unit is getting older, replacing it is a wise choice.
AC units requiring refrigerant that is obsolete, or soon to be obsolete, must absolutely be replaced. If the refrigerant is impossible to find/illegal/too expensive, you’ll pay too high a price for any cooling you receive.
Other reasons to replace an outdated AC unit include:
- Repair bill more than 25 percent of replacement cost
- Unit is over/under capacity
- Energy costs for cooling are too high
- Climate conditions are salty or corrosive
- Cooling needs of household have changed
- Unit is loud and obnoxious
You’ll want new ductwork installed for any home additions. A new AC unit is a wise choice during any renovation where additional cooling zones will be created.
There Are Times When It’s a Simple Fix
Many times, an AC unit struggles to deliver cold air because it needs a refrigerant charge. The filter, unit, or ductwork may be atrociously dirty. The compressor may have issues. Or there’s another simple, fixable problem in the system.
Your HVAC tech will run tests on the AC system to see how various components perform. The air pressure going into the system and the air pressure coming out of the system are measured. Sometimes, the return air grills don’t let in enough air. Other times, dust and dirt are causing a drop in pressure, so all you feel on your end is a weak wisp of coldish air from your vents.
A fan may be too big, too small, or have a loose connection. You could have a leak in the ductwork or refrigerant supply. Ductwork may be too narrow or too wide to deliver the proper air pressure in combination with your AC unit. As you can see, there are a number of reasons why your AC unit is failing, and many solutions don’t involve replacement.
There Are Key Considerations When Replacing AC
If a replacement AC unit is in your plans, take some time to think about what you expect from a unit in the future. How well did your present unit perform? Did the AC unit live up to your expectations as far as your comfort level and energy usage? What things would you change about your air conditioning performance?
Today, you have a host of new options to design a custom system for your home. Smart appliances and devices are available, so you can control your AC from work or anywhere you have an internet connection. New AC units are available with options including variable speed fans and split units.
Variable speed fans are quieter and use less energy than traditional one-speed fans. Split systems are also available, offering flexibility to people who only use certain areas of their homes on a temporary basis. Those seldom-used areas can be conditioned as needed rather than kept cool 100 percent of the time.
There Is the Entire HVAC System to Remember
When you have your AC replaced, it normally means your furnace will be replaced as well. It’s a great time to explore the options you have for heating and cooling.
The possibilities for your new HVAC system include heat pumps, geothermal systems, and radiant floor heat. You can combine a high-efficiency AC unit with a high-efficiency furnace, or have your HVAC pros install a combination unit that’s rated for great performance and low energy usage.
Your HVAC supplier will show you the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating for each type of air conditioner you’re comparing. This rating is determined by the ratio of the AC’s cooling to its energy usage. The higher the SEER rating number, the better the energy efficiency of the unit.
Trust the HVAC experts at Custom Comfort to service, install, and repair your AC unit, ductwork, and other HVAC systems. We sell, install, and maintain nearly every air conditioning brand on the market. We design your system and your ductwork individually so your system delivers the comfort you expect inside when it’s hot outside.