With proper maintenance, your air conditioner can last 15 years or more. But even the most well- maintained air conditioner will need to be updated eventually.
When you’re getting started planning for air conditioning installation in Columbia, we realize that cost tops your list of questions. The good news is that getting a new air conditioner might be more economical than you think it is, due to rebates, our special offers and financing for qualified customers. You’ll also enjoy better energy efficiency, which will usually pay off over the years through lower electricity bills.
Here’s what to anticipate when you’re replacing your air conditioner.
When to Replace Your Air Conditioner
Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner might be tricky. Here’s what we suggest.
- Your air conditioner is older than 10 years old. While some could work longer, many air conditioners last for around 15 years with routine maintenance. We advise getting ready for air conditioning replacement close to the 10-year mark. Even if you get a new one when it’s only a decade old, the U.S. Department of Energy says this tweak could save you 20-40% on cooling expenses.
- You’ve skipped regular maintenance for a long time. Just like a car, you cooling system needs regular air conditioning maintenance. Skipping this crucial service can lead to diminished efficiency, more recurring repairs and even a reduced life span.
- Your air conditioner has to have frequent or pricey repairs. Needing air conditioning repair is frequently the consequence of skipping maintenance. But as your air conditioner gets older, it’s more likely to have a catastrophic malfunction. When repairs are greater than half the cost of a new air conditioner, we recommend getting a new one.
- Your home is uncomfortable. If your home feels too sticky or you’re dealing with hot and cold spots in given rooms, your air conditioner might be having difficulty keeping up. This is a clue it’s time to replace it.
- Your utility bills are expensive. Your air conditioner gets less efficient as it ages. As a result, it may need to work more often or longer to keep your house at your desired temp. Newer air conditioners have the latest energy-efficient technology to keep your house comfortable and utility expenses down.
- Your air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant. If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a high likelihood it uses Freon. Also referred to as R-22, this refrigerant is no longer being made because of its damaging effects on the environment. You can continue to use your air conditioner, but if it were to have a refrigerant leak, fixing that would be extremely expensive. This is due to the fact R-22 is only available in limited, recycled portions.
- Your air conditioner is no more than 10 years old. If your air conditioner is newer, it’s ideal to repair it.
- Repairs aren’t needed all the time or reasonable. The wisest way to stop unexpected repairs is to have regular maintenance completed. But when repairs are only needed every so often or are reasonable, repair your air conditioner.
- Your air conditioner is under warranty. Most air conditioners come with a 5- to 10-year limited warranty that typically covers the compressor. Your exact warranty length is up to your manufacturer, but it offers valuable protection in the event of a huge failure. If your air conditioner is under warranty, we recommend fixing it.
Air Conditioner Cost
The majority of homeowners spend around $4,631 on a new air conditioner, according to national averages compiled by HomeGuide. Air conditioner cost averages often range from $3,350 to $5,912, but your total cost may be different.
There are a few details that influence your total cost, such as:
- The air conditioner model you select, as more energy-efficient ones are more expensive.
- The size you need.
- If you need to put in new ductwork, which can be required if your ductwork is aging or damaged.
We offer free estimates at Watts Electric & A/C Inc so you can be confident you’re getting a great deal. And with our wide range of air conditioners, there’s an energy-efficient model that works with just about any budget.
Air Conditioner Size
Air conditioner size is essential. A system that’s too small won’t be able to keep your house cool. And one that’s oversized may turn on and off too frequently, or short cycle. This behavior can inflate your utility bill and wear your air conditioner out prematurely. This may also create temperature variability and make your house feel less cool.
At Watts Electric & A/C Inc, our technicians have many years of experience in correctly sizing and installing the right air conditioner for your home. The size you need depends on how spacious your house is, plus several other factors. Some of the most standard sizes include:
- 2 ton, which cools up to 1,000 square feet
- 3 ton, which cools up to 1,600 square feet
- 4 ton, which cools up to 1,900 square feet
- 5 ton, which cools more than 2,000 square feet
Other factors that can affect air conditioner size are:
- The climate in Columbia
- Ductwork quality and age
- How many windows your home has and the style, as large or picture windows might be less efficient
- If your house has more sun or shade
- Insulation quality and depth
- How many people are in your household
Your air conditioner’s efficiency is tied to its SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This rating measures how proficiently it consumes electricity to create cooling. The higher the ranking, the more efficient the air conditioner is.
When you’re installing a new air conditioner, it’s crucial to realize:
- Dated air conditioners are classified around 8-9 SEER.
- Modern air conditioners start at 13 SEER. Ones installed in the southwest and southeast must be no less than 14 SEER due to U.S. Department of Energy requirements. As of 2017, these SEER rating requirements have saved homeowners trillions of dollars.
- ENERGY STAR®-certified air conditioners begin at 14.5 SEER.
- Higher SEER-rated air conditioners have extra features to help you save more. These features may include variable-speed cooling. Instead of running at full blast constantly, these air conditioners can adjust blower speeds adjusted for your cooling needs. This results in quieter and more energy-efficient air conditioning. While an air conditioner with a better SEER rating is typically more expensive, it might be eligible for additional rebates. And the energy savings over its life span may help it pay for itself.
Start Your Air Conditioning Installation with Watts Electric & A/C Inc Now
When you’re researching air conditioning replacement, the company who hooks it up is just as essential as the model you go with. Watts Electric & A/C Inc is one of the number one names for air conditioning installation in Columbia. From helping you select the ideal solution for your home to reviewing financing options to professional installation, collaborating with our pros is a breeze. Contact us at 601-736-7362 to get started today!