Is it time to replace your air conditioner unit?

It’s been a hot summer here in Tucson and chances are next summer is going to be the same.  The fall is actually a good time to purchase a new unit since costs are usually lower.  Yes, a new unit is a big investment, but so is the cost of continuing to repair an old and inefficient unit.
Here are 5 ways to help determine if you need to invest in a new AC Unit:

  1. What is the age of your current unit? Age is one of the most importance factors. In general, you can expect a well-maintained air conditioner to last about 10-15 years. If your unit is older, time to consider a new unit.
  2. The Energy Efficiency Factor. New units are more efficient than ones built a decade ago. In fact, newly manufactured air conditioners have to have a SEER rating of at least 13. If your air conditioner’s SEER rating is below 13, you can cut back on your energy costs by replacing it with a new, more efficient unit. Keep in mind that if your air conditioner has a low SEER rating, it will cost you more money to operate. New units can save you up to 20% in savings.
  3. Is your AC unit having frequent breakdowns? Is your air conditioner is constantly breaking down causing you to break down? Repair costs can really add up quickly, and it doesn’t make sense to keep making them on older units that are at the end of their life cycle. Take the age of your AC unit and multiple that by the repair cost. If the number is more than $5,000 ~ time to replace the unit.
  4. Does your air conditioner use R 22 Freon? Freon is being phased out by the federal government in order to conserve energy nationwide.  This factor is making the costs of Freon to soar.  If you’re having major problems with your air conditioner, especially if they involve the need for more Freon due to a leak, it’s probably a good time to replace your unit in order to switch over to the new refrigerant (R410A).
  5. Is your home always hot? Does your air conditioner seem to run constantly and you don’t feel comfortable? This could be due to an aging air conditioner or a system that is not sized correctly. If your AC unit is going to keep your home cool and you have high energy bills, you’ll want to replace it with a unit that will.

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