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Having to purchase a new air conditioner is not always planned for most people. You buy a new air conditioning unit when the old one breaks down and it typically happens at the worst times. Sometimes homeowners just want to update their home or office with a much more efficient unit. In today’s society there are so many options to cool your home and save you money on your monthly utility bills by using less energy. When you need to act quickly you sometimes worry that you will over pay.

When to replace your AC unit?

If year by year you are noticing you are paying hundreds of dollars to repair your existing unit or it is hiking up your monthly electric bill, it may be time for a new unit

There is a financial rule of thumb we use when it comes to air conditioner repair: If the estimate exceeds $500 or more, that is a good indication to you that you might need a new air conditioner.

Putting that repair cost towards a new AC installation can save you a bundle of money long term.

How Do I Start My Search for a New Air Conditioning Unit?

Some homeowners have unrealistic expectations about the lifespan of their air conditioning units. Most units will only last seven to ten years. That guy in your neighborhood who says his air conditioner is 21 years old is not typical. In some rare cases these units will last up to 30 years, but a lot can change in 30 years regarding efficiency and cost of installation. In today’s ecofriendly society most AC installation expense will be paid off by monthly energy savings due to having an efficient and up to date unit.

When it’s time to buy a new air conditioning unit, find a HVAC contractor who will take the time to examine your air conditioner unit, your house, ductwork, and your entire HVAC system. You want this contractor to thoroughly go through your needs and provide you with good cost expectations. Cheap work is not always good and good work isn’t cheap, it’s an old saying that is proven time and time again.

If you ask your car mechanic for automotive advice, he can’t answer unless he knows about your needs or your car. If a contractor is giving you suggestions without knowing your home, he most likely is not giving you an accurate quote on your system, and you probably don’t want to work with that person. Instead, ask your friends and neighbors about companies they’ve used.

Experience is important

A good contractor wants to show off his photos, insurance certificate, and license. Contractors need experience and lot of training to get that license and take on an expense to provide you with an insured job so they should want you to know about it. You want knowledgeable technicians at your house that are proud of the work they do.

Sometimes internet searches are not always the best way to find a contractor you can trust. Some reviews and comments are easily manipulated by the correct software; don’t base your entire opinion on what you read online. Air conditioning units are not easy to understand or install. People spend many years working and researching these units and it is an ever changing market. You want a seasoned contractor who’s been through many installations and has the experience, the experience that can work for you.

Your choice of contractor makes all the difference

Here are a few key questions you want to consider when evaluating your air conditioning unit:

Outside the Home

  • Why is the system being replaced?
  • Historically has the old unit cooled to your satisfaction on the hottest days?
  • What is the designated temperature you want to keep your home at?
  • What is the current Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of the system?
  • Is the existing system R22 or R410A?
  • Are you attempting to obtain the Federal Tax Credit?
  • Is your attic insulation up to current building code?
  • Does anyone in your family experience allergies or sensitivities?

Inside the Home

  • Is the duct-work the original ducting from when the home was built?
  • Have any additions been made to your home since originally built?
  • Have your ducts ever been cleaned?
  • Are you experiencing any mold issues or odors like spots on the grills?
  • Will a condensate pump be required?