It’s still early spring, and yet the Inland Empire has already seen warm temperatures for days at a stretch. Soon enough, it will be blazing hot again, and when it is, you need your air conditioner to perform every day without fail. If your existing system is on its last legs, now is the time to have it replaced, when there’s still a few weeks of comparatively cool temperatures and you can plan the operation to suit your schedule. (Contrast that with suffering a fatal breakdown in the middle of July, forcing you to drop everything and install a new system immediately.) But when can you tell if you need a new system and what kind of features should you look for if you do?
Age and Cost
The decision to replace an outdated air conditioner with a new one must be made by the homeowner, and there’s no hard, fast rules to follow. Generally speaking, however, two factors are usually involved.
- Every air conditioner has a warranty, which covers replacement parts for a set period of time. You should usually seek to repair the system rather than replace it once the warranty expires, and even then, you can extend its life a great deal by scheduling regular servicing sessions throughout the system’s life, as well as reparing any problems quickly. But if your warranty has expired and ensuing costs are greater than you’d like to pay, you should seriously consider a new unit.
- Cost usually means a repair job, and if you have more than two in the same 12-month period, that’s usually a sign that a new system is necessary. Sometimes, it can be only one repair job, but the cost will be more than you’re willing to pay. And sometimes it won’t be repairs at all, but simply the creeping inefficiency that results in higher costs. Regardless, the situation can be resolved by installing a new system.
What to Look For
Once you’ve made the decision to install a new air conditioner, you need to look for several things in the replacement system:
- Power levels, which refers to its ability to cool a certain space. An undersized system will run constantly and never get the area cool, while an oversized system will short cycle: turning on and off rapidly many times throughout the day, which wastes a huge amount of energy.
- Efficiency, which is measured in a SEER rating. It stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the rating, the better use the system makes of its consumed energy. You want to determine efficiency after determining the power levels, since an undersized, but more efficient system won’t gain you anything (running all the time eliminates the benefits of its efficiency).
It’s going to be a hot summer and you want your air conditioner performing at its peak. If you live in Rialto, CA and you need a new air conditioner, or even just a little tune-up, Avis Plumbing-Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is standing by for you!