With proper maintenance, your air conditioner can run for 15 years or greater. But even the most well- maintained air conditioner will need to be replaced down the road.
When you’re getting started planning for air conditioning installation in Chelan and Wenatchee, we are aware that cost tops your list of questions. The silver lining is that installing a new air conditioner could be more affordable than you think it is, due to rebates, our special offers and financing for qualified customers. You’ll also get improved energy efficiency, which will likely pay off over time through cheaper cooling bills.
Here’s what to expect when you’re getting a new air conditioner.
When to Replace Your Air Conditioner
Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner may be difficult. Here’s what we recommend.
- Your air conditioner is past 10 years old. While some could last longer, most air conditioners last for around 15 years with regular maintenance. We suggest getting ready for air conditioning replacement near the 10-year age. Even if you replace it when it’s only a decade old, the U.S. Department of Energy says this change could save you 20-40% on cooling expenses.
- You’ve skipped annual maintenance for many years. Just like a car, you cooling system requires regular air conditioning maintenance. Overlooking this essential service can cause diminished efficiency, more persistent repairs and even a reduced life span.
- Your air conditioner has to have frequent or expensive repairs. Needing air conditioning repair is often the result of not doing tune-ups. But as your air conditioner gets older, it’s more likely to experience a major breakdown. When repairs are higher than half the cost of a new air conditioner, you should get a new one.
- Your home is uncomfortable. If your house feels too sticky or you’re dealing with hot and cold spots in given spaces, your air conditioner might be having a hard time keeping up. This is a clue it’s time to replace it.
- Your utility bills are high. Your air conditioner loses efficiency as it ages. Consequently, it might need to run more repeatedly or longer to keep your residence at your desired temp. Newer air conditioners have the top energy-efficient technology to keep your residence comfortable and electrical bills down.
- Your air conditioner has R-22 refrigerant. If your air conditioner was replaced before 2010, there’s a high likelihood it uses Freon. Also called R-22, this refrigerant is no longer being manufactured because of its bad effects on the environment. You can carry on with using your air conditioner, but if it were to experience a refrigerant leak, repairing that would be extremely expensive. This is since R-22 is only available in limited, recycled portions.
- Your air conditioner is less than 10 years old. If your air conditioner is newer, it’s ideal to repair it.
- Repairs aren’t common or inexpensive. The best way to prevent unanticipated repairs is to have annual service scheduled. But when repairs are only needed intermittently or are reasonable, repair your air conditioner.
- Your air conditioner is covered by a warranty. Most air conditioners come with a 5- to 10-year limited warranty that typically covers the compressor. Your exact warranty length is determined by your manufacturer, but it offers valuable protection in the event of a huge failure. If your air conditioner is protected by warranty, we recommend fixing it.
Air Conditioner Cost
Many homeowners spend around $4,631 on a new air conditioner, according to national averages compiled by HomeGuide. Air conditioner cost averages often range from $3,350 to $5,912, but your exact cost could be lower or higher.
There are several details that influence your total cost, including:
- The air conditioner model you choose, as more energy-efficient ones are higher priced.
- The size your home needs.
- If you need to put in new ductwork, which can be required if your ductwork is dated or separated.
We offer free estimates at Lakeside Heating & Air so you can be confident you’re getting a great deal. And with our complete range of air conditioners, there’s an energy-efficient model that fits just about any budget.
Air Conditioner Size
Air conditioner size is crucial. A system that’s undersized won’t be able to keep your home cool. And one that’s oversized might turn on and off too many times, or short cycle. This action can inflate your cooling expenses and wear your air conditioner out prematurely. This may also lead to temperature instabilities and make your residence feel less comfortable.
At Lakeside Heating & Air, our techs have many years of experience in accurately sizing and installing the right air conditioner for your house. The size you need depends on how spacious your house is, plus a couple other factors. 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 impact air conditioner size are:
- The temperatures in Chelan and Wenatchee
- Ductwork quality and age
- How many windows you have and the style, because big or picture windows might be less efficient
- If your house gets more sun or shade
- Insulation quality and depth
- How many people live in your home
Your air conditioner’s efficiency is linked to its SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This rating measures how well it consumes electricity to create cooling. The bigger the number, the more efficient the air conditioner is.
When you’re installing a new air conditioner, it’s essential to realize:
- Older air conditioners are ranked around 8-9 SEER.
- New air conditioners start at 13 SEER. Ones installed in the southwest and southeast must be a minimum of 14 SEER due to U.S. Department of Energy mandates. 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 include more features to help you save more. These features may involve variable-speed cooling. Instead of operating at full speed continuously, these air conditioners can fine-tune blower speeds based on your cooling requirements. This results in quieter and more energy-efficient cooling. While an air conditioner with a better SEER rating is often pricier, it may be eligible for additional rebates. And the energy savings over its life span could help it pay for itself.
Start Your Air Conditioning Installation with Lakeside Heating & Air Today
When you’re doing air conditioning replacement, the company who installs it is just as essential as the model you choose. Lakeside Heating & Air is one of the top names for air conditioning installation in Chelan and Wenatchee. From helping you find the right solution for your house to reviewing financing options to professional installation, collaborating with our pros is a breeze. Reach us at 509-284-4265 to start right away!