AC Repair and AC Installation in Lakewood
During sizzling summer temperatures, you will thank yourself for either installing a new or repairing an existing air conditioning unit as summers can become unbearable in Lakewood. As a Lakewood resident, you are well aware that having an AC in summers is not a luxury but a need, so the important question is whether to repair or replace your current AC. An AC will keep you comfy and cool inside your office or home and protect you from the scorching Lakewood heat, which can sap the energy out of everything.
When your AC stops functioning properly, the first thing that pops into your head is whether to get a new unit or repair the existing one. Usually, investing in a new AC can prove expensive, but it can be your most cost-effective option in many situations. Here are some factors to consider to make an informed decision:
Your decision to replace or repair is largely impacted by your goal, which can simply be remaining comfortable or can be a tad more complex like cutting down your energy consumption. If you just want to maintain your comfort, then AC repair is a better option. On the other hand, replacing an AC can lead to up to 30% savings on your cooling costs, which is a better strategy if your aim is to minimize your energy bill.
Your next step should be to figure out the cost of the repair. If you are planning to invest over $1,000 into your AC, and its age is in excess of 10 years, you will most likely end up with long-term savings by replacing your AC. However, if your repair costs are modest, it is preferable to have your AC repaired.
Efficiency of your Current AC
Even an 8 to 10-year old AC system, can suck nearly twice the electricity compared to a new low-end unit. This is because older units usually operate at 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) or lower. This ratio is the amount of electrical energy required to maintain a specified cooling output.
Before 2006, a ratio of 10 SEER was deemed standard, but nowadays, federal law mandates a minimum SEER of 13. This can mean up to 30% savings in electrical consumption and cooling bills compared to AC equipment installed just a few years back. So, if your AC is more than 8 to 10 years old you will end up saving more by replacement, otherwise, repair is a better and affordable choice.
Condition of the Ductwork
You may end up upgrading your AC system to the latest and most efficient gear available and may still feel uncomfortable on extremely hot days. This is because the mechanical components are only a part of the central air system. The ductwork of an average house leaks about 10% to 30% of its air before it reaches the living space.
Before you decide to replace or repair your blower and condenser units, a technician can perform a duct leakage test, which will help you gauge how much air manages to escape the system. If the ducts are not efficient, they can be fixed for $25 to $35 per vent, or be entirely replaced with a fresh insulated pipe, which will cost only about $100. In this case, it is better to go for repair instead of replacing the entire system.
In case your home is insulated poorly, it can put a serious strain on your aging AC. If you resolve your house’s flaws, your existing AC may still be able to deliver enough cooling strength to continue to do a good job for a couple of more years. Or you may be better off purchasing a smaller replacement system, which lowers both your upfront and recurring energy costs significantly. In this situation, it is better to choose repair over replacement. Your cooling contractor will easily examine and upgrade your building envelope, which will keep the cost down.
Size of the New AC
If your decision is to replace the current AC, ensure your contractor’s bid has a load calculation, which is a computer printout that shows how big your new unit should be and why. AC units are measured in tons, which is the cooling strength of a 1-ton block of ice that melts in 24 hours.
Many old-school AC installers make a rough estimate of the sizing equipment, like 1 ton for every 500 square feet of living space. However, this imprecise estimate generally leads to AC units that are oversized and more expensive. Oversized units are not only expensive, they also cool too quickly, which triggers more frequent on/off cycles that can wear out components and gobble up electricity.
If you are having trouble keeping yourself cool and comfortable in the sweltering Lakewood weather due to AC issues, contact us today. We will take care of your repair or replacement dilemma and most importantly help you relax in this scorching weather.