With proper maintenance, your air conditioner can last 15 years or more. But even the most meticulously maintained air conditioner will need to be updated at some point.
When you’re starting to plan for air conditioning installation in Columbus, we realize that cost is number one on your list of questions. The good news is that installing a new air conditioner may be more economical than you are aware, because of rebates, our special offers and financing for qualified customers. You’ll also get enhanced energy efficiency, which will typically pay off over time through cheaper cooling bills.
Here’s what to prepare for when you’re replacing your air conditioner.
When to Replace Your Air Conditioner
Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner can be hard. Here’s what we recommend.
- Your air conditioner is past 10 years old. While some may work longer, most air conditioners last for around 15 years with routine maintenance. We suggest getting ready for air conditioning replacement around the 10-year mark. Even if you install a new one when it’s only a decade old, the U.S. Department of Energy says this swap could save you 20-40% on cooling expenses.
- You’ve avoided routine maintenance for many years. Much like a car, you cooling system requires regular air conditioning maintenance. Skipping this crucial service can lead to lower efficiency, more frequent repairs and even a shorter life span.
- Your air conditioner has to have frequent or costly repairs. Needing air conditioning repair is often the result of overlooking tune-ups. But as your air conditioner gets older, it’s more likely to experience a big problem. When repairs are higher than half the cost of a new air conditioner, it’s time to get a new one.
- Your home isn’t comfortable. If your house feels too humid or you’re having hot and cold spots in specific areas, your air conditioner could be struggling to keep up. This is a hint you need to replace it.
- Your utility bills are high. Your air conditioner loses efficiency as it becomes older. As a consequence, it may need to operate more often or longer to keep your residence at your desired setting. Newer air conditioners have the latest energy-efficient technology to keep your house comfy and cooling bills down.
- Your air conditioner has R-22 refrigerant. If your air conditioner was replaced before 2010, there’s a good chance it runs on Freon. Also known as R-22, this refrigerant is no longer being produced due to its detrimental effects on the environment. You can continue to use your air conditioner, but if it were to experience a refrigerant leak, solving that would be extremely expensive. This is because R-22 is only available in limited, recycled quantities.
- Your air conditioner is under 10 years old. If your air conditioner is newer, it’s wisest to repair it.
- Repairs aren’t needed all the time or inexpensive. The wisest way to stop unexpected repairs is to have routine work done. But when repairs are only needed every so often or are inexpensive, repair your air conditioner.
- Your air conditioner is covered by a warranty. Most air conditioners include a 5- to 10-year limited warranty that usually covers the compressor. Your exact warranty length is up to your manufacturer, but it offers valuable protection in the event of a big failure. If your air conditioner is under warranty, we recommend fixing it.
Air Conditioner Cost
Many homeowners spend around $4,631 on a new air conditioner, based on national averages compiled by HomeGuide. Air conditioner cost averages often range from $3,350 to $5,912, but your total cost may be different.
There are several details that affect your total cost, such as:
- The air conditioner model you select, since more energy-efficient ones are higher priced.
- The size your space needs.
- If you need to install new ductwork, which can happen if your ductwork is dated or separated.
We give free estimates at Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling so you can be sure you’re getting a good deal. And with our complete range of air conditioners, there’s an energy-efficient model that fits just about any budget.
Air Conditioner Size
Air conditioner size is critical. A system that’s too small won’t be able to keep your house cool. And one that’s too big could turn on and off too often, or short cycle. This action can increase your cooling bill and wear your air conditioner out prematurely. This may also create temperature instabilities and make your house feel less cool.
At Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling, our professionals have many years of experience in properly sizing and installing the right air conditioner for your home. The ideal size depends on how large your residence is, along with a couple other considerations. Some of the most common sizes include:
- 2 ton, which cools up to 1,000 square feet
- 3 ton, which cools up to 1,600 square feet
- 4 ton, which cools up to 1,900 square feet
- 5 ton, which cools more than 2,000 square feet
Other considerations that can affect air conditioner size are:
- The weather in Columbus
- Ductwork quality and age
- How many windows your home has and the style, as big or picture windows can be less efficient
- If your house receives more sun or shade
- Insulation quality and thickness
- How many people live in your home
Your air conditioner’s efficiency is tied to its SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This rating measures how efficiently it consumes electricity to create cooling. The higher the ranking, the more efficient the air conditioner is.
When you’re buying a new air conditioner, it’s essential to know:
- Dated air conditioners are ranked around 8-9 SEER.
- New air conditioners start at 13 SEER. Ones installed in the southwest and southeast must be no less than 14 SEER due to U.S. Department of Energy requirements. As of 2017, these SEER rating requirements have saved homeowners trillions of dollars.
- ENERGY STAR®-certified air conditioners begin at 14.5 SEER.
- Higher SEER-rated air conditioners come with extra features to help you save more. These features may entail variable-speed cooling. Instead of operating at full blast constantly, these air conditioners can fine-tune blower speeds adjusted for your cooling needs. This creates quieter and more energy-efficient comfort. While an air conditioner with a higher SEER rating is usually higher priced, it could be eligible for more rebates. And the energy savings over time could help it pay for itself.
Start Your Air Conditioning Installation with Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling Today
When you’re planning for air conditioning replacement, the company who hooks it up is just as important as the model you go with. Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling is one of the most trusted names for air conditioning installation in Columbus. From helping you select the right solution for your residence to going over financing options to professional installation, partnering with our professionals is a breeze. Contact us at 614-451-0846 to get started right away!