For the past few years, summers have brought with them hot temperatures and high humidity. These scorching temperatures have proven to be not only uncomfortable by life-threatening to many. Everyone has either been getting out their AC systems or buying new ones. Each spring, the main question is whether to fix the old AC or replace it with a new one. Here are some things you might consider when contemplating the decision.
How Serious is the Problem?
If you AC isn’t working correctly, it could be something major like a faulty compressor or it could be something as simple as a clogged or dirty filter. Simple fixes can be not only inexpensive but can also add months or years to the life of your AC system.
Sometimes a good cleaning is all the system may need. If you’re not mechanically inclined, you may want to have a service technician check out your AC system. Maintenance checks are usually not real expensive and the technician can give you an informed answer on what it will take to get the system running as it should.
How Energy-Efficient is Your System?
We hear a lot about saving energy and being as energy-efficient as possible. This is a good idea since energy costs are at an all-time high. Although your AC may still be operating fairly good and kicking out a sufficient amount of cool air, how efficiently is it running? Hot summers that have your AC system running a lot are going to result in higher energy bills
However, if this cost seems exceptionally high or much higher than previous years, you may want to consider getting a new energy-efficient model. Sometimes, the amount you save in energy costs almost pays for the unit in just one year.
How Old is Your AC System?
The age of the AC system is generally the major consideration when consumers are contemplating what to do to meet their AC needs. How much and how heavily the system has been used will also play a factor. Some people only use their system on extremely hot days and supplement it with fans.
Other people, on the other hand, use the system almost non-stop from spring right until fall. The lifespan of AC units is usually around ten years. If your AC system is less than five years old, it may be work keeping and just having it serviced. Service technicians can often add years to the life of an AC system with just a simple maintenance check each year.
If the system is nearing its lifespan or has exceeded the ten-year span, it may be time to replace the unit. Keep in mind also that if the unit is that old, it’s probably not efficient any more.
Is the Problem the AC or Your Home?
Just because your home was insulated ten years ago, doesn’t mean it’s still adequately insulated. Are your windows and doors sufficiently sealed or is air entering and leaving the home through cracks? Are your vents clean and allowing the air to flow freely?
Sometimes what homeowners think is an AC problem may be things that need fixing in the home. Another thing to consider is size of the AC in relation to the size of the home. When you purchase an AC system, the technician will generally tell you how many square feet the system will cover.
On a window unit, this information will be listed on the box. Follow these guidelines. If you get an AC unit that’s too small for the area you want cooled, it’s not going to adequately keep your home cool and will ultimately cost you more in energy costs.