Sean Gresin Owner Tech
Dorena Gresin Owner Founder
Mark Gresin Dish Washer
Rob Simone Residential Tech
When is it time to replace my HVAC equipment?
AC’s that are properly maintained can last a very long time but as the old saying goes – nothing lasts forever. When the time comes time to replace your existing AC, Sun State HVAC has the highest qualifications and can install most any brands available for you.
But how do you know it is time too replace an existing older unit? There are several factors involved in making this decision but to make it as simple as possible here are a few check points we watch for.
1. Age of the unit: How old a unit is is not a diagnosis in itself but does play a part in the overall decision of whether or not HVAC system integrity remains intact. Systems that are quite old (10 to 15 years) but have been well maintained and cared for may still be mechanically sound enough while others that are not very old (5 to 8 years) may have not been well maintained, especially if the ‘air conditioning company‘ you called to work on it has the word ‘Plumbing’ on the truck, it can be well past time for replacement. A careful check of all system components can uncover whether any HVAC system is still viable or not.
2. System Controls: Are all the system controls still functioning or have they been removed and bypassed from the circuits of the unit’s system electric controls which function as safety and/or efficiency controls.
3. Coil Condition: Are the coils of the HVAC system in good condition. For instance, is there any hail damage or other types of damage which may impede their efficient functioning.
4. Antiquation: It is a fact that an AC system begins to enter its antiquation age beginning around it’s 12th year and by the 15th year technology has completely surpassed it. Newer technology creates great incentive to replace older equipment because doing so usually saves the customer 30% to 40% in the energy it costs to operate and is a big consideration when deciding to spend a lot of money repairing an already failing HVAC system. This is especially true for those who elect to install a solar-panel-grid where every watt used is important as part of any plan to lower present and future energy costs.
5. General age of unit: The older an AC system is as time goes on, the more likely one will be faced with not only an expensive repair but also nickel and dime repairs not to mention the hassles and discomfort and even danger of breakdowns in the middle of our warmest summer temperatures. Thinking, “I’ll just let it run till it busts and then go buy a new one” is fine except for one problem; AC systems never break down when it’s convenient! They always pick the worst time to stop working usually on the hottest days of the summer when you’ve just received invited out of town guests, or when either you or a family member just got sick with the flu.
Another consideration should be that when you decide to purchase a new HVAC or Central Air Conditioning System, the time of year you plan to do it. Planning ahead to have the system installed during a more temperate time of the year will save you big dollars compared to having to have an emergency rush job in the middle of the summer when everyone is already booked to the hilt in the hot summer months.
6. Refrigerant prices: Costs of Maintenance and repair prices of newer refrigerant vs the older phased out R-22 refrigerant (Freon) costs is a major consideration. Since the older R-22 refrigerant has been phased out the costs of replenishment into a system due to even a minor leak can be exorbitant and if the problem happens in the summer when it’s extremely hot out you will have no choice but to pay as much as $250 a LB for it. Considering that many AC systems can require as much 15 LBS or more of refrigerant to fill it up just to get your AC running again for that moment not to mention that leaks on older systems are normally not guaranteed and they could repeat themselves in short order!
That said, there are alternative refrigerants on the market available for about 1/2 the cost of R-22 but they come with other costs of purging and flushing traces of old the refrigerant from the system and in some cases even the oil in the compressor needs to be changed and when it’s all said and done it’s still just a bandaid on a problem that will most likely reoccur again.
7. Bottom Line: When it comes right down to it, the decision of whether or not to replace existing equipment should be measured by: 1) financial advantage, 2) desire for better comfort, 3) repair and operational costs to you. A good rule of thumb for unit replacement (all things being equal) is: If the broken unit is more than 12 years old and the costs of repair (bringing it back to a minimum of 90% of the efficiency of a new unit) is equal or greater than 20% of what a new replacement unit would cost, it is highly recommended to that a new unit replacement should be considered. Click to Request an AC Replacement Quote today!
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