When Should You Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit?

Spring is almost here! If you’re getting prepared for the spring and summer weather, you’ve probably thought about how you’re going to keep cool. Are you going to use your same air conditioner system, or upgrade to a new one?

The answer can depend on a number of factors. How old is your current unit? How well does it work? Does it seem like you always need to repair it? In some cases, a simple tune-up can keep your old machine running smoothly for many more years. In other cases, you may be better off with a new unit rather than spending more on air conditioning repair.

Reduce R-22

Many older machines use chlorodifluoromethane, more commonly known as R-22. As a greenhouse gas, this material can be harmful to the environment. New air conditioning units no longer use R-22 because the Environmental Protection Agency began phasing it out in 2014. Now manufacturers must use significantly less R-22, and eventually won’t be able to use it at all. With less R-22 allowed in circulation, refrigerant prices are increasing.

If your air conditioner is old enough, it probably uses R-22. That means you’re paying more for keeping your home cool, so it may be a good time to take a look at more efficient options.

Consider the Age

As equipment ages, its efficiency can drop over time because it’s not operating as well. While it’s possible to repair broken-down units, air conditioning repair expenses combined with lost efficiency can cost you more than necessary in the long run. Energy Star recommends upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your current air conditioner is 10 or more years old.

There are a few other ways to determine if it’s time for a new air conditioner system:

  • Repairs: If the equipment needs frequent repairs, you could be putting too much money into an old unit. Buying a new, efficient unit could save you money in the long run.
  • Energy Bills: If your bills are going up, it might be time to invest in a more efficient unit to save money over time.
  • Uneven cooling If some rooms are too hot or too cold, your air conditioner may not be operating correctly.

Identify Energy Efficiency Units

When considering a new air conditioner system, remember to refer to SEER ratings as guidelines for efficiency. SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, is a way of identifying how much cooling an air conditioner unit provides compared to how much energy it uses. New air conditioners are required to have a SEER number of at least 13.0, but the top models can carry SEER numbers as high as 23.0. Older air conditioners can be rated as low as 6.0. Many older units have low SEER numbers. If your air conditioner system has a rating that low, you’re wasting money every time you turn it on.

These factors should all be taken into consideration when you’re deciding if you want  to make some more repairs or if you want to purchase a new air conditioning unit. For more help, contact SMO Energy. Whether it’s heat pump service or a new air conditioner system, SMO Energy can help you save money on your energy bills while maximizing the comfort of your home.

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