You may not be thinking about it now but… eventually the winter season will wind down and thoughts will turn towards the dog days of summer. Will your air conditioning system be up to the task? Knowing when to replace your hard-working system can be tricky. Here are some things to consider.
How old is your AC? The age of your system is typically the strongest factor in deciding whether or not to replace your system. We typically recommend replacement on systems that are 15 years or older. Today, the minimum SEER is 13, but if your AC was manufactured before 2006, chances are it’s only rated at a 10 or even less. Just by upgrading to the current minimum, you’ll gain at least three points on the SEER scale. Each SEER number you go up increases energy efficiency by approximately 5 to 9 percent.
Which refrigerant does your system utilize? Approximately 25 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated the phase out of R-22 (Freon) as a result of growing environmental concerns. Production of new air conditioning units charged with R-22 ended in 2010, and by 2020 the servicing of R-22-based systems will rely solely on recycled or reclaimed refrigerants. If your air conditioner was manufactured before 2010, it probably utilizes R-22. Since production is limited, the cost to repair a leak and/or recharge an existing R-22 system will rise each year. New systems utilize R-410A refrigerant which is not compatible with old R-22 equipment.
How much does your current system cost you? Whether it’s your electric bill or multiple repairs, an older system can hurt your bank account. Take the time to look over your receipts and calculate how much you've spent on AC repairs. If the total amount you’ve spent on repairs exceeds the cost of a new unit, it’s definitely time for a new one.
Regardless of what type of cooling system you use or how old your system is, having a licensed and insured HVAC company tune-up your AC system annually, will go a long way to reducing your energy consumption, greatly increase the longevity of your equipment and will help to eliminate those costly service calls. Don’t wait until the system fails. Call your service company today and tell them you need a tune-up or get ahead of the season by getting a quote on a new more efficient system!