Getting the most out of your tried-and-true air-conditioner is a worthy cause. However, even the best quality, longest-lasting HVAC systems can’t last forever in Charleston.
If you’re hanging on to an old system that still runs—but shows significant signs of age—it might be time to consider replacing the system. Delaying an AC system upgrade can seem like you’re saving money, but you’re probably paying higher energy bills than you will with a more energy-efficient system. The costs for frequent repairs to keep your system running can also add up.
That old AC could be more expensive to keep than you think.
Here’s what to consider when you’re not sure if it’s time to replace the AC or keep pouring money into an outdated system.
An HVAC system “can” last fifteen years or longer. However, as an air-conditioning system reaches retirement age (starting at about ten years old), it becomes less efficient.
Parts wear out, and routine maintenance becomes critical. If you’ve skipped annual AC maintenance, you might have already shortened the lifespan of an AC that struggles to cool your home every year.
As air-conditioning systems age beyond ten years, they lose energy efficiency. Regular maintenance helps keep them running well and can extend the life of your system. However, after the ten-year mark, it’s time to consider replacing the system.
Over the years, energy efficiency requirements for HVAC systems have improved. Lower SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings were acceptable years ago. However, today’s standards (and future requirements) recommend higher ratings to maximize efficiency and minimize the impact on our environment.
Every air-conditioning unit has a SEER number that rates its maximum efficiency throughout all four seasons. You’ll see these numbers on the yellow Energy Star sticker places on the air-conditioning unit. Higher numbers (up to 25) are more energy-efficient, while lower numbers (down to 13) are less efficient.
With a high SEER rating, your HVAC system uses less energy—and reduces your energy bills. When it’s time for an AC replacement, consider a high SEER rating to reduce energy costs throughout the life of your new system.
At first, it probably makes more financial sense to replace AC parts that break. While the system may have an active warranty, replacing broken parts (and conducting annual maintenance) is a cost-efficient way to keep the system running well.
However, after years of use, more significant parts will begin to wear out. Bigger parts require more expensive replacements. Before something breaks, you might also notice the air conditioner runs often, doesn’t blow cold air, or cycles on and off repeatedly.
An HVAC system’s performance suffers from a lack of maintenance or a part about to break runs inefficiently. Ignoring these issues doesn’t save you from air conditioner repair costs. In many cases, delaying AC maintenance (or a system replacement) becomes a costly way to hang on to your current HVAC system for one more year.
With an aging system, ongoing repairs become more expensive than replacing the air conditioner. If you have to call a repair technician once or twice (or more times) during the warm weather season, it’s time to stop putting money into your outdated HVAC system and replace it.
An air conditioner replacement is a significant homeowner’s expense. However, when you weigh the ongoing costs of AC repairs and high utility bills for your old AC vs. a new system, you experience better long-term savings with a new energy-efficient system.
With an ideal SEER rating and a new air conditioner, you eliminate significant repair costs and lower energy bills. While the upfront cost of a new system can be a considerable investment, homeowners generally save money on utility bills right away (and throughout the life of the system) from an AC that uses less energy.
Without significant repair costs, you’ll also have more cash flow in your monthly budget. However, even with a new system, it’s critical to take good care of it to maintain its energy-efficiency and extend its useful life.
As with any significant home upgrade, protecting your new air conditioner helps maximize cost savings and help it cool your home for many years to come.
Even a new system requires maintenance and quick attention if something goes wrong. After a quality HVAC company installs your new system:
A new, energy-efficient HVAC system is a smart investment in your home! When your old AC starts showing its age, blows warm air, or requires frequent (and costly) repairs, it’s time to replace the old one with a new energy-efficient unit.
The best air conditioning company can help you find the ideal HVAC system for your home — a new AC that’s the right size and SEER rating efficiently cools your home for many years of faithful service.
Carolina Climate Control delivers affordable and reliable air conditioning replacement in Lowcountry. Contact us to schedule an estimate for your new system.