When is it time to get a new A/C unit?
The mid-Atlantic region is known for hot, humid, muggy summers and air-conditioning can be a lifesaver when temperatures start to climb. However, your a/c unit can increase your electricity bill a lot during the summer months. The average national electricity bill is about $100 but during the summer, running your a/c unit can increase that to $200. Those of us that live in the mid-Atlantic region know that summer is not just from June to August. Temperatures are usually hot enough for a/c from May to September, so that’s 5 months that you are paying an extra $100 on your electricity. Knowing when it is time to consider a new air conditioner installation and replacement can help you reduce your electricity bill and stay comfortable during the warmer months. Here are some tips on whether you should replace your air conditioning unit.
How old is your current unit?
If your a/c was manufactured before 2010, it has different standards than newer models. After 2010, a/c units had to use a refrigerant that was better for the environment – one that does not contain chlorofluorocarbon, which depletes the ozone. Besides being better for the planet, these newer models are also more energy efficient – using half of the energy to cool your home as older models.
What is your unit’s SEER number?
Another change to a/c requirements involves the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). Prior to 2006, a/c units only had to have a SEER of 10. SEER refers to the amount of energy needed to create a cooling output. After 2006, the minimum SEER is 13, required by federal law. This means that a 13 SEER system uses at least 30% less electricity. If you are thinking about air conditioner installation and replacement, consider how much money you would save if you reduced your electricity bill by 30% for 5 months of the year.
How does your ductwork look?
Another consideration to take is the functionality of your ductwork. Even if you buy a top-of-the-line a/c unit, your home still might not be as cool as you want it. If your ductwork isn’t in good shape, air won’t be able to flow through your home efficiently. Studies show that anywhere between 10% and 30% of air leaks out through your ductwork before it even arrives at its destination. So your current a/c unit may be able to do the job for your home, you just need better or cleaner ductwork. Before you decide to purchase a new unit, have an a/c technician run a leakage test to see much air you are actually losing through leaks. The technician will seal all the vents in your system and then measure how much air is escaping.
Is your house well-insulated?
There are other aspects to the efficiency of your a/c unit than just the unit itself. The condition of your ductwork plays a big role, and so does the insulation of your home. If you have an older unit, but you upgrade your insulation, it might buy you a few more years before you need to replace the a/c unit. It’s also important to check for any cracks or gaps around doors or windows where air can leak out. Investing in energy efficient windows that are better insulated will also improve your system’s performance. Upgrading the insulation in your home will help you all year round by reducing your a/c and heating costs by keeping the heated or cooled air inside.
If you are wondering if it is time to get a new a/c unit, there are a lot of factors to consider when making that decision. Air conditioner installation and replacement can definitely improve your home’s comfort during the summer months. However, you may be able to get another year or two out of your current unit by making a few changes. Contact Weather Crafters today to take a look and help you determine if it’s time to replace your a/c unit.
For more information about when to get a new a/c unit, check out https://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/homeowners/10-things-you-should-know-before-replacing-your-central-ac-system/