An efficient air conditioner is an important feature in your home. If you’re not enjoying peak home comfort and a reasonable energy bill, it’s time to evaluate your air conditioner and consider a new model. Look for these prime signs that a new system is on the horizon.
Your Home Isn’t Cool Enough
When a home isn’t cool enough for your comfort needs, there are two likely causes. The first is a dirty or poorly maintained system that needs more care and attention. You should have your air conditioner serviced once a year for optimum performance. If you haven’t kept up with the proper maintenance tasks, your system runs the risk of accumulating dust and dirt. You may also run into other problems like loose parts or lack of proper lubrication. If this is the case, scheduling a maintenance visit may resolve your problem without the need for a new system.
If a tune-up doesn’t solve your problem, you may find that your air conditioner isn’t properly sized. When a unit is too small for your square footage, it won’t keep your home cool no matter how well-maintained. An HVAC professional can help you determine the appropriate size. Upgrading to a properly sized unit can make a dramatic difference in your home comfort.
You should see an HVAC professional for regular maintenance and infrequent repairs. If they’re visiting on a regular basis, your repairs can quickly add up to the price of a new unit. Compare the cost of repairing the unit with the cost of a replacement, factoring in the energy savings you’ll probably enjoy. You may find that a brand new air conditioner actually puts you ahead.
Shrinking Your Carbon Footprint
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average home uses over 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity every year, releasing 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide into the air. The more efficient your system, the less you’ll contribute to these emissions.
Your system’s SEER rating indicates how much energy it uses to achieve a particular cooling output. Older systems can have a SEER as low as 6 or less, but the minimum allowed for new systems today is 13. The higher your SEER, the more environmentally friendly your air conditioner is.
Lowering Your Bill
Over time, your air conditioner’s efficiency may gradually decline. You’ll also find that today’s standard units use far less energy than their counterparts in the past. The best air conditioners on the market use 30 to 50 percent less energy than those manufactured in the mid-1970s. Replacing an air conditioner that’s just ten years old can reduce your energy costs 20 to 40 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
You’ve Had the Same System for Over a Decade
Around the ten-year mark, you should begin thinking about upgrading your air conditioner. A central air conditioner typically lasts between 15 and 20 years today, but planning ahead will help you save up for an energy-saving model. An air conditioner that’s just a decade old is already greatly outdated in terms of technology and energy efficiency. The sooner you can afford an upgrade, the sooner you’ll start cashing in on energy savings.
You Want More Control
If you’re struggling to keep your home comfortable, a new system can give you the control that your current installation lacks. A ductless system allows you to place heat pumps for both heating and cooling in various rooms of the house. With this system, you turn only the heat pumps that you need, leaving them off in unused parts of the home. A programmable thermostat will also give you greater control, allowing you to choose the ideal settings for each part of the day and day of the week.