With proper maintenance, your air conditioner can last 15 years or longer. But even the most well- maintained air conditioner will need to be updated down the road.
When you’re starting to plan for air conditioning installation in Greater Richmond, we realize that the price is at the top of your list of questions. The bright side is that buying a new air conditioner could be more affordable than you realize, due to rebates, our special offers and financing for qualified customers. You’ll also get enhanced energy efficiency, which will likely pay off over time through less expensive electricity bills.
Here’s what to anticipate when you’re installing a new air conditioner.
When to Replace Your Air Conditioner
Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner may be tricky. Here’s what our professionals recommend.
- Your air conditioner is past 10 years old. While some may work longer, the majority of air conditioners last for around 15 years with regular maintenance. We recommend prepping for air conditioning replacement close to the 10-year mark. Even if you replace it when it’s only a decade old, the U.S. Department of Energy says this swap could save you 20-40% on cooling bills.
- You’ve skipped annual maintenance for a long time. Similar to a car, you cooling system requires regular air conditioning maintenance. Overlooking this crucial service can result in lower efficiency, more recurring repairs and even a reduced life span.
- Your air conditioner has to have frequent or costly repairs. Needing air conditioning repair is usually the consequence of skipping service. But as your air conditioner gets old, it’s more likely to suffer a catastrophic problem. When repairs are higher than half the cost of a new air conditioner, it’s time to get a new one.
- Your house feels unpleasant. If your residence feels too humid or you’re dealing with hot and cold spots in certain rooms, your air conditioner might be struggling to keep up. This is a hint it’s time to replace it.
- Your utility bills are costly. Your air conditioner gets less efficient as it gets older. As a result, it may need to work more often or longer to keep your home at your desired setting. Newer air conditioners have the most up-to-date energy-efficient technology to keep your home comfy and energy bills low.
- Your air conditioner has R-22 refrigerant. If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a decent chance it uses Freon. Also called R-22, this refrigerant is no longer being made because of its detrimental effects on the environment. You can carry on with using your air conditioner, but if it were to develop a refrigerant leak, solving that would be extraordinarly expensive. This is because R-22 is only available in limited, recycled amounts.
- Your air conditioner is under 10 years old. If your air conditioner is newer, it’s smartest to repair it.
- Repairs aren’t needed all the time or economical. The wisest way to avoid unexpected repairs is to have yearly service done. But when repairs are only needed every so often or are economical, repair your air conditioner.
- Your air conditioner is under warranty. Most air conditioners come with a 5- to 10-year limited warranty that often covers the compressor. Your exact warranty length depends on your manufacturer, but it offers valuable protection in the event of a big failure. If your air conditioner is protected by warranty, we advise fixing it.
Air Conditioner Cost
The majority of homeowners spend around $4,631 on a new air conditioner, per national averages compiled by HomeGuide. Air conditioner cost averages often range from $3,350 to $5,912, but your precise cost might vary.
There are a few factors that affect your total cost, including:
- The air conditioner model you choose, since more energy-efficient ones are pricier.
- The size you need.
- If you need to replace your ductwork, which can be needed if your ductwork is dated or inefficient.
We offer free estimates at Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling so you can be confident you’re getting a fantastic deal. And with our wide range of air conditioners, there’s an energy-efficient model that works with just about any budget.
Air Conditioner Size
Air conditioner size is critical. A system that’s too small will struggle to keep your home cool. And one that’s oversized could turn on and off too often, or short cycle. This act can drive up your energy bill and wear your air conditioner out prematurely. This may also lead to temperature variability and make your home feel less comfortable.
At Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, our professionals have many years of experience in accurately sizing and installing the right air conditioner for your residence. The ideal size depends on how spacious your house is, along with several 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 factors that can influence air conditioner size are:
- The weather in Greater Richmond
- Ductwork quality and age
- How many windows your house has and the style, since expansive or picture windows may be lower efficiency
- If your residence gets more sun or shade
- Insulation quality and thickness
- How many people are in your family
Your air conditioner’s efficiency is tied to its SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This number measures how well it consumes electricity to create cooling. The bigger the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner is.
When you’re installing a new air conditioner, it’s crucial to know:
- Old air conditioners are ranked around 8-9 SEER.
- Modern air conditioners start at 13 SEER. Ones installed in the southwest and southeast must be at least 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 have extra features to help you save more. These features may entail variable-speed cooling. Instead of going at full blast constantly, these air conditioners can fine-tune blower speeds adjusted for your cooling requirements. This results in quieter and more energy-efficient cooling. While an air conditioner with a greater SEER rating is typically pricier, it could be eligible for extra rebates. And the energy savings over its life span may help it pay for itself.
Start Your Air Conditioning Installation with Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Now
When you’re researching air conditioning replacement, the company who puts it in is just as important as the model you choose. Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is one of the number one names for air conditioning installation in Greater Richmond. From helping you select the ideal solution for your residence to reviewing financing options to professional installation, collaborating with our pros is a breeze. Call us at 804-302-6657 to begin right away!