Tips to consider when replacing your air conditioner

Today’s best air conditioners use 30-50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as systems made in the mid 1980’s.  Even if your A/C is only 10 years old, you may save 20-40% of your cooling costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient system.

Proper sizing and installation are key elements in determining air conditioner efficiency.  Too large a unit will not adequately remove humidity.  Too small a unit will not be able to maintain comfortable temperatures on the hottest days.  Improper unit location, lack of insulation and improper duct installation can greatly diminish efficiency.

When buying an A/C, look for a model with a high efficiency.  Central air conditioners are rated according to their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).  SEER indicates the relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output.  It represents the total cooling of an air conditioner or heat pump, in BTU’s (British Thermal Units), during the normal cooling season as compared to the total electric energy input, in watt-hours, consumed during the same period.

An Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is the ratio of the cooling capacity of an air conditioner in BTU) per hour, to the total electric input (in watts) under certain specified tests.  Air conditioner EER ratings higher than 10 are considered most cost effective.  The higher the rating, the less the unit will cost to operate.  To reduce energy bills associated with cooling your home, look for a high EER rating and “EnergyStar” compliance when purchasing a new A/C.

Many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less.  The minimum SEER manufactured by law, as of 2015, is 14 SEER.

It may be interesting to note here, in 2004, the government required reductions in the production of the coolant, R-22.  These reductions will continue until 2020 when the production of R-22 will completely cease.  This has caused the price of R-22 to increase dramatically.  It is estimated that in the year 2020, R-22 could cost approximately $200 or more per pound.  Many air conditioners, 10 years or older, need R-22.  This could be a very important point to consider if you are thinking about replacing your current system.

It is important to do your homework when choosing a HVAC contractor.  Make sure you choose a licensed, bonded contractor with high ratings with the BBB and the AZ Registrar of Contractors.

If you are considering replacing your old system with a new high efficiency system, you will be happy to know that manufacturer’s rebates may be available, which can lower the cost of replacement.  In addition, APS and SRP offer rebates on qualifying equipment.

Remember, we always offer FREE estimates on new installations.  We always appreciate the opportunity to discuss the advantages of replacing your old air conditioner with a newer, more efficient system.

Back to Tips