AC Replacement: What to Consider When You’re Considering A New AC Unit
A new central AC unit is a big-ticket item that plays an essential role in how comfortable your house is.
The lifespan of most HVAC systems is an average of 10 to 14 years, so you can count on going through this experience sooner or later. Here’s how long other things in your home should last. Before you buy a central air conditioner, here are some things you’ll want to know about central AC unit replacement.
The Perfect Size For You
One common mistake homeowners make is buying a unit that is either too big or too small to efficiently cool their home. Unfortunately, replacing your central air conditioner isn’t as simple as buying an identical-sized, new AC unit, especially if you’ve made any changes to your home, such as the replacement of drafty windows, installing new insulation or adding new rooms.
We highly recommend that you have a licensed HVAC technician perform a load calculation, which is the industry’s method of determining what size AC unit your home needs before buying a new one. The load calculation also determines the amount and size of the air ducts your system has in place and makes sure they are in good working condition. The licensed HVAC technicians at Sears Home Services provide free on-site consultations to evaluate your home’s unique cooling needs, no matter where you buy the AC unit and they’ll let you know how much it is to replace an AC unit.
Buying Direct your new central AC unit directly from an HVAC retailer typically provides a substantial cost savings opportunity for homeowners because HVAC contractors who buy the AC units for you will include a markup in the price of the equipment. However, manufacturers tend to frown on consumer-direct buys because they do not want homeowners trying to install the AC unit as a do-it-yourself project; the danger involved in doing it yourself is real and serious. Here’s where you shouldn’t have an AC unit installed.
If you do buy direct make sure you buy your central AC unit through a licensed distributor and that it is installed by a licensed HVAC contractor. As long as you meet this criteria buying direct will not void your unit’s warranty.
Efficiency Equals Energy Savings
It’s important to make sure your new central AC unit provides you with the highest possible Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, which is a measurement of the amount of energy needed to deliver the proper amount of cooling. High efficiency models come with a SEER between 14 and 25.5, and all models sold in the U.S. are required to have a SEER of no less than 13. If you live in a hot, humid climate it is especially important to choose a unit with the highest SEER affordable since it will be running a lot of the time.
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