Most folks think about AC in terms of money: Am I getting what I paid for? That’s the driving question behind every tune-up, every repair, and every replacement. Is a new system worth the high cost of installation? Is a repair now better in the long run? Why am I spending so much on utilities every month when my home is energy efficient? These are the questions that we get asked on a daily basis, and while the answers change, they always remind us that for our clients, budget is the driving factor behind their HVAC decisions.
With that in mind, we’re in a time of year where a lot of AC installs are starting to happen or people are planning on installing ACs before summer hits. It’s not too late to get your AC installed before August’s sweltering heat, but it is time to do some serious calculating and we’re here to help with that. So should you replace your old air conditioner? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.
Cons of AC Replacement
Let’s talk cons first, because we like to get those out of the way first. The biggest drawback to replacement is the cost. AC installation is not cheap, and there’s no way around that. There are great rebates and financing options available, but that doesn’t mean you won’t spend some real money up front or over a repayment period in order to get a new system.
Another major con is the disruption of installation. You’ll be without AC for at least some period of time (and even now it’s starting to get warm outside). If your AC is capable of making it through another summer, you may be better off waiting until you’re not using it every day—although you should monitor the system closely and have a professional take a look to make sure it can get through the summer months without problems.
Pros of AC Replacement
Peace of mind is probably the biggest pro. If your AC fails in August, you’re going to wish you had it replaced. And even if it makes it another summer, you’ll be worried about it a lot over the next six months. Replacing an old, worn-out AC removes one more thing from the list of things that stress you out.
Quality of living comes in as a close second. Newer AC systems are simply better than models from even a decade ago. They cool better, they last five to ten years longer, and they’re much cheaper and more efficient to run.
Installation can be expensive, but if you replace your system before it fails then you have more control deciding when and how that expense affects you. If your system dies without warning, you’ll be scrambling to pay an unexpected expense, perhaps at a bad time.
Efficiency is another reason to replace an old system. Any old conditioner is going to work less well and cost more to run than a newer system. If your home is energy-efficient but your system is old and worn out, you won’t be reaping many of those home benefits until you get a system in that works well.
Talk to a Contractor About AC Replacement
All of these points bear consideration, but perhaps the biggest point to consider is the opinion of your HVAC contractor. Call up your guy, have them look at your system, and listen to what they say. If they recommend replacement, and you trust their opinion, then start planning to replace. If they’re confident that they can get your system through the summer without major repair, they plan to replace next fall at a more convenient time. If your contractor is us, you know that you’ll be getting honest advice, quality work, and the family treatment.