When Is It Time to Replace Your Cooling System?
There are many warning signs that it’s time to consider replacing heating and cooling equipment.
It may be time to call a professional contractor to help you make a change if:
- Your air conditioner is more than 10 years old.
Consider replacing with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that uses 20 percent less energy than new standard models.
- Your equipment needs frequent repairs, and your energy bills are going up.
Your cooling equipment may have become less efficient.
- Some rooms in your home are too hot or too cold.
Improper equipment operation, duct problems or inadequate insulation could be the cause.
- Your home has humidity problems.
Poor equipment operation, inadequate equipment, and leaky ductwork can cause the air to be too dry in the winter or too humid in the summer.
- Your home has excessive dust.
Leaky ducts can pull particles and air from attics, crawl spaces and basements and distribute them throughout your house. Sealing your ducts may be a solution.
- Your cooling system is noisy.
You could have an undersized duct system or a problem with the indoor coil of your cooling equipment.
Consumer Tip: You can save hundreds of dollars by installing a new heating system and a new air conditioner at the same time.
Choosing or Upgrading Your Air Conditioner
To save energy and money on a new air conditioner, talk to your contractor about energy-efficient options. In an average air-conditioned home, air conditioning consumes more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, causing power plants to emit about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide.
Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid-1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
Proper sizing and installation are key elements in determining air conditioner efficiency. Too large a unit will not adequately remove humidity. Too small a unit will not be able to attain a comfortable temperature on the hottest days. Improper unit location, lack of insulation, and improper duct installation can greatly diminish efficiency. Your contractor can help you calculate the best size and location for your new air conditioner.