When Do You Need to Buy a New Air Conditioner?
The right answer isn’t always easy to pin down. (That’s why it’s important to get a good, experienced technician.)
The average lifespan of an air conditioner is 10 to 15 years. But this statistic depends on the conditions of your home, the quality of your system and the maintenance of the AC unit.
Now, see why there’s more to AC installation than meets the eye…
When You May As Well Buy a New Machine
The compressor is the most important part of the air conditioning machine. It can last the whole life of the machine, but it can also break early if it isn’t cleaned and maintained.
Often, the compressor’s life is the life of the machine. Because if you have to replace a compressor, if the cost of it is 50 percent of the value of the machine, or if the AC is 8 years old – you’ll probably save money by purchasing a new machine; it will be a more efficient system, and create a better environment in your home.
Who Do You Turn To When Deciding What System to Buy?
When you speak to contractors, they should know about building science, because the air conditioner is part of the whole house cooling and heating system. To achieve proper coverage, the technician must combine a lot of data to reach the thermal load of the house.
This includes insulation, air leaks, duct leaks, solar gains from windows and any radiant heat problems.
What You Don’t Want Your Contractor to Say
Before the technician has inspected your building envelope and decided on the right system, you don’t want to hear your contractor say:
– “The machine you want is already in stock, I’ll bring it right over and install it.”
– or “The power of the AC you’ve got can be added to with an additional machine.”
The right air conditioner is decided on by the total square footage of your home. So these answers both show less dedication than you need for AC installation.
Instead, they need to run the Manual J Load Protocol to arrive at the total size and insulating properties of your home. This includes the R-value of all of your insulation, and can be efficiently computed with software.
What If My AC Is Too Big?
Your air conditioner can be overpowered. If that’s the case, it will remove heat from the air well, but it won’t dehumidify well. It will cycle on and off more often and wear out quickly.
Can Leaking Ducts Affect the Machine I Buy?
A duct leakage test will determine how much air conditioning is being lost through the ducts. There are two types of leaks – those that leak air-conditioned air into non-conditioned space, and those that leak air-conditioned air into conditioned space.
The first is the kind that we care about.
At a minimum, your HVAC contractor should measure the total external static pressure and make sure it’s within the limits specified for the equipment they’re installing. Ideally, they’ll also measure the airflow to each room to make sure your home will be heated and cooled uniformly
Make Sure You Investigate
A lot of HVAC companies will do you the service of replacing your machine. But without doing all the proper legwork to ensure you’ve got the best system possible. Ensure that they’ll do everything necessary to maximize the power of your AC system.
Anytime HVAC will give you everything you need when replacing your AC system. Just give us a call.