It’s going to happen at some point. You will need to install an air conditioner to replace the one that you currently have in your home. After all, most air conditioning units are only expected to last about 15 to 20 years, on average. So, while that may sound like a long time, you’ll be replacing your unit before you know it.

So, when that time comes, you want to be ready. But what exactly do you need to look out for and when do you need to buy a whole new unit? Homeowners have many questions about their air conditioner systems and the factors that go into the decision-making process as you shop for a replacement.

The Decision to Replace

It goes without saying that you probably want to repair or even replace certain components of your unit instead of a full-scale replacement of the entire thing. But sometimes you are faced with a choice that relies upon a cost assessment of your options.

There are two determining factors that will likely urge you towards a complete replacement. The first being your current system. If it’s more than eight years old, you should consider replacing the air conditioner because it’s probably not running as efficiently as it once did. This will help you save more money on your utility costs.

The second is your air conditioning system compressor. If that goes down, you’re looking at a substantial cost to fix it. You may consider replacing the compressor if the cost to repair is more than half the value of the unit.

Finding the Right Replacement

Heating repairs in Richmond VA can get expensive, but not as costly as having the wrong replacement air conditioning unit in the home. In order to avoid getting the wrong unit put in, your contractor needs to ascertain the specs of the house.

This means assessing your insulation, condition of your ductwork, any leaks in the house that might be letting air escape, and additional heating and cooling issues that might prevent the home from being cooled evenly.

Before your contractor tries to sell you just any unit, you must understand there is no “one size fits all” solution to your home’s cooling. Getting the right replacement unit installed means having the total square footage of your home calculated along with the insulating properties with respect to the R-value, which is the rating of your insulation and its ability to resist heat flow. The higher your insulation’s R-value rating, the more insulating power contained in your home.

The Size of Your Air Conditioner

Yes, size does matter when it comes to having the right unit installed. If your air conditioner is too powerful, you’ll find that it cools the home but leaves it humid and the system will be cycling on and off too much. This will increase the wear and tear on the unit.

If your air conditioner is not powerful enough, the system will constantly be running because the room will never reach the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat.

Posted by Jane E. Ortiz

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