There have been plenty of updates to the air conditioning field in recent years including better quality air conditioning units, energy efficiency upgrades and more. Because of the updates, if your AC unit starts showing signs of wear and tear — or if it’s just not cooling like it used to — it may make more sense to replace it instead of repairing it.
An example of a recent update includes a new rule for AC manufacturers. Almost six years ago, industry rules changed to require manufacturers to use a new type of refrigerant; one that is not an ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon. As a result of that change, newer AC systems are more energy efficient, often using less than half the electricity of an old one while doing a much better job of keeping your home cool and cozy.
So how do you know if it makes sense to replace or repair your air conditioner? We asked a few local ac repair boca raton contractors. They said a good rule of thumb is if your air conditioner is more than a seven or eight years old, it is probably best to replace it. For simple fixes like a clogged condenser unit or a broken fan belt, a simple repair will do. Also, it is a great idea to ask your local contractor to determine the condition of your unit before making the final call to replace or repair it. A professional can review not just the condition of your AC unit, but they can inspect the air ducts and determine how your home’s insulation is affecting the efficiency of your system. Assessing all those components may help to increase the effectiveness of the system as much or more than installing a new AC unit.
Is it worth it to repair?
In the air conditioner world, new updates means better equipment and better equipment means more efficiency. So, if your central air conditioner around a decade old, it may be better to replace it than repair it. That is because an older system could use almost twice the electricity that even a low-grade new one would use. Older AC units operate at or below 10 SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is the amount of energy needed to provide a targeted cooling output. Until ten years ago, 10 SEER was standard. However, new updates have improved the standard to a minimum of 13 SEER. That may not seem like a huge improvement but it translates to 30% less electrical consumption and 30% lower cooling bills.
Depending on the size of your home, a new 13 SEER unit may cost roughly $3,000 to $4,000. If you purchased an even more energy efficient 16 SEER AC unit, you could easily see a 60% reduction in cooling costs when compared to a 10 SEER unit purchased over ten years ago.
Other factors to consider
The best quality AC unit is only as good as its attached system. Ducts and insulation are a major part of a functioning air conditioning unit. On average, a home’s ductwork leaks 10% to 30% of its air before it reaches any rooms in your home. Sealing the vents and measuring how much air escapes the system is one way to improve your AC’s efficiency without making costly repairs. Our Boca Raton air condition repair experts estimate the cost to run ductwork tests at $25 to $35 per vent.
There are many factors to consider when making the decision to repair or replace your home’s air conditioning unit. Is your home well insulated? It’s not just the ductwork that may cause flow problems. Leaky windows and drafty doors can be a drain on your AC system. Having an overall energy efficiency check goes a long way to ensuring all your home’s systems work together to heat and/or cool your space effectively. Scheduling an energy efficiency audit is easy. You can call your local electric and gas company to inquire about having a representative conduct a free or low cost energy efficiency check on your home. Once that is completed, if you are still having issues with your central air conditioner, then it’s time to contact the pros. If you are in Boca Raton or surrounding areas in Florida, you can find an air conditioning repair contractor at Iron Bear Studios.