The decision of whether to repair or replace the A/C in your home isn’t an easy one. A key factor to consider is the expense of the needed repair(s) versus the cost of new equipment. Before you decide, ask for the advice of an experienced HVAC professional, and weigh these other critical factors as well:
- Your A/C’s age. Air conditioners typically provide 15 years of reliable service. If yours has been cooling your home for 10 years or more, you can expect an increasing number of repair bills in the future. Replacing the equipment can be the cost-saving choice, and it can help you avert a sudden mid-season failure.
- Your equipment’s energy efficiency. If your cooling equipment was manufactured before 2006, its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) may be adding to your annual energy expenses, because it’s likely a SEER 10 or less. Efficiency has improved considerably since then – today’s models range from a minimum standard SEER 13 up to an ultra-efficient SEER 24. A SEER 16 unit is a mid-range option that can save you 60 percent in energy consumption and costs from that old SEER 10 model.
- The state of your home’s thermal envelope. Before you make a decision, make sure your home has adequate insulation and a well-sealed shell. By taking these energy-saving measures, you’ll save on operating costs and you may find that a lower-capacity and less costly replacement A/C can cool your home effectively.
- Your ductwork. Leaky, inefficient ductwork can waste up to 30 percent of the conditioned air produced by even the most efficient HVAC equipment. Sealing and insulating the ducting can increase your comfort and energy savings, whether you decide to repair or replace the A/C.
If you decide that replacement is the right choice, make sure your HVAC contractor performs a detailed load calculation to determine the correct equipment capacity. Oversizing an A/C causes inefficient short cycling that doesn’t dehumidify effectively. If the unit is too small, your home won’t get cool enough to keep you comfortable.
For expert advice about whether to repair or replace the A/C in your Baltimore area home, contact us today at Griffith Energy Services, Inc.
Written by Kevin Spain.
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