It’s hard not to consider air conditioning as one of the miraculous outcomes of technology on a hot summer day with humidity biting into you. On those summer days, turning on the AC reverses the whole situation. The origin of air conditioning goes back a couple of centuries when people tried to find efficient ways to preserve food for longer. Liquified Ammonia was used to cool the air as it evaporates and a couple of decades later, the compressor was used to create ice.
It wasn’t until 1902 when Willis Carrier invented the modern electrical AC as we know it today, to help with industrial printing processes. The discovery of freon has also helped in making ACs safer and more efficient, leading to their widespread application in commercial and residential means. Whether it’s for Heating or cooling, AC is an indispensable technology to many populations.
A lot of people can mistake a simple fixable malfunction for a complete breakdown and waste their money by buying a new expensive unit. Consider the following before deciding to purchase a new AC.
Finding the right AC unit and contractor
It’s quite important to be able to make an informed decision before you start consulting a contractor about the installation of a new AC unit. A factor like noise level can be very crucial in your selection process. Window ACs are known for generating some noise that could sometimes be too disturbing for users. Split ACs, on the other hand, are known for their silence and efficiency. Central AC is great for large homes where it’s more efficient than installing multiple AC units across the house, but its installation is a bit more complicated than other types of ACs. As energy efficiency and environmental friendliness have become important factors in our lives, some new forms of AC, like hybrid and geothermal heating and cooling, have emerged on the market.
You should always consult with your contractor to discuss all the different options you have before you make a decision. You must be able to trust your air conditioning contractor to tell you the best option for you, rather than to look for ways to profit off of you. With over 6 different systems of air conditioning, it can feel a little overwhelming to try and weigh all the options by yourself. You can read reviews online about your contractors to see whether their customers are satisfied or if they’re left asking for more.
When to replace?
The life expectancy of most ACs is between 10 and 15 years when they are properly maintained. But it’s known that drawing a fully accurate estimate with mechanical equipment like ACs isn’t usually possible. Even if you maintain your AC perfectly well, sometimes a wrong step in the installation process can cause it to quickly deteriorate without you noticing soon enough. Look for signs that can help you determine whether your AC is reaching its limits or not. If it’s constantly breaking down with a need for repair and is older than 10 years, you likely need to replace it. Replacing various important parts of the AC frequently as it ages is a red flag that it’s reaching its limit.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a way to effectively reduce how energy efficient a system is. In simple terms, it’s similar to the miles-per-gallon concept we use to gauge cars for fuel economy. A higher SEER rating means that your AC would use less energy compared to a low SEER counterpart. When you notice your energy bills are on the rise due to an old, inefficient AC system, it’s time to start thinking about replacing it with a unit which has a better SEER ratio and lower energy costs. Most experts and contractors believe the best SEER value to be between 14 and 16. Going for maximum value is sometimes considered to be not the best economic decision as repair costs substantially rise as well. Newer ACs usually come with higher SEER values as the industry is moving toward better efficiency standards.
AC units are expensive, and this makes it a decision worth your time when it’s about time to replace or repair your current unit. You should factor in variables like installation costs, repair costs, and energy efficiency when you’re trying to see what’s best for you. The good news is that ACs are significantly improving as new technologies help fix old problems and increase efficiency. You’ll be impressed by the difference a new efficient AC unit can make compared to your old dying one.