Nobody likes having to deal with air conditioning trouble. When it’s hot outside the last thing you want is to be forced to deal with it inside, too. Your home is your castle, your sanctuary, your protection against the nonsense you deal with beyond its walls! It can be daunting picking out a new unit, especially if your AC is broken beyond repair and you don’t have a whole lot of choice. You may feel overwhelmed, but you don’t have to be. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you figure out the best AC Installation plan for you. Here’s what you need to look for when deciding on a replacement air conditioning unit.
This should be your number one priority when choosing a new HVAC system. Rising global temperatures are having a negative impact on, well, everything! One of the oft overlooked impacts of hotter summers is that your AC unit needs to work harder to maintain a constant temperature inside your home. It takes more energy to bring the internal temperature of your home down from 98 degrees to 69 degrees (the nicest temperature) than it does from 80 degrees. For this, you’ll need to make sure that you’re looking for the most energy efficient model possible. While the cost may be higher upfront, the amount you’ll save on your energy bill will more than make up for that. According to the United States Department of Energy, replacing your old unit can save you up to 40% on your energy bill, as you can see at https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/central-air-conditioning.
Additionally, more energy efficiency means less environmental impact. It’s true that the individual carbon footprint any of us leave behind is minimal compared to the massive impact of mega corporations, but that doesn’t mean our contribution is entirely ignorable. After all, a single pebble may not be enough to dam a river, but enough of them can. You may just be a pebble, but you can be one of many. Newer models are better for the environment. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, newer models are up to 50% less energy wasteful than those made back in the 1970’s. Since most people don’t have to replace their units for decades at a time, the difference you’ll see might be staggering. Getting an energy efficient model has zero downsides for you or for the world around you!
Long Term Maintenance
With the outside getting hotter, the wear and tear on your AC ’s components are going to be more dramatic. Energy efficiency can help offset those costs, but you also need to be cognizant of what each option’s maintenance schedule and requirements are. Some units will only need to be serviced once per year, while others might require a more regular schedule to make sure everything is in working order. It may be that not following all of the maintenance guidelines is what led to needing to replace your air conditioner in the first place! The United States Department of Energy has guidelines, which you can find here, that you should follow if you want to keep your AC in the best condition.
While getting a professional out to service your machines and ducts is a good (see: vitally important) part of maintenance, there are things that you can do on your end to minimize the strain on your system. For starters, make sure the openings to your ducts – that is, where the cold air actually comes out – is clear of lint or debris at all times. Keep an eye on the central unit’s fan and make sure it’s clear of leaves, sticks, or anything else that might muck up its functioning. Replace your air filters monthly to minimize the effort your system needs to put out to circulate the air. Doing these things will help keep your new unit running at optimum efficiency
Cost vs. Value
The big thing people look at is the upfront price of the new unit. This is usually the deciding factor for most people. While this is understandable, especially given that some choices can come with a bit of sticker shock, what you need to keep in mind is that the initial cost of the system is just one element to consider. That upfront cost is short term, and going with the cheapest option may actually be more expensive for you. Your system should last for a good number of years, and in those years you will have to deal with ongoing costs associated with keeping your system running smoothly. We’ve already gone over two of those ongoing costs: energy and maintenance. A cheaper model may increase the costs of those elements and more, meaning you end up paying more in the long run!
It’s not unlike considering a new car purchase. If you buy an older used car on the cheap, you’re going to pay less upfront but are bound to be saddled with higher maintenance and insurance fees to keep it running and legal. Meanwhile, purchasing a newer, more reliable car will be a higher initial price in exchange for lower ongoing costs. You’re better off spending a little more upfront in exchange for long-term security and functionality, especially since newer models aren’t that much more expensive than the discount option. You need air conditioning, and you owe it to yourself to get the kind that’s going to get you what you need for the lowest long-term cost.