If your air conditioning has conked out, you’re probably just thinking you just need a way to cool down ASAP. But just as you have choices for who to hire for air conditioning replacement, you have choices in what system to buy.
A variety of factors will play into what system makes the best option for you, including the size of your home, the efficiency you need and more.
What is Energy Star and how does efficiency work in home cooling?
Central air conditioner systems last for about 10 or 20 years, so the bad thing about having a system that’s older than a decade is that it's probably nearing time for replacement. The good thing is that a new home cooling system will likely be more energy efficient than your old one because technology is constantly improving.
You’ve heard about energy efficiency, but what does that phrase mean in the context of a home cooling system? Nearly half of household energy costs go toward heating and cooling, according to the Energy Star program.
Energy Star is an EPA program that helps consumers make choices about home systems and products based on how efficient they are. A new unit could bring your heating and cooling costs down by as much as 20 percent! Look for a blue Energy Star label on any product you buy to ensure it meets efficiency standards.
What else affects how cool my home is?
In addition to an efficient cooling system these other factors will also help keep your home cool, according to the Department of Energy:
- Proper insulation
- Energy-efficient windows and doors
- Daylighting, or using natural light to illuminate your home
Just know that air conditioning replacement may not be enough to keep your home ultra cool or result in a significant reduction in utility bills if you have leaks, poor insulation or ventilation problems.
Price for air conditioning replacement
Expect to pay between $6,000 and $10,000 for a total AC replacement. These variables can affect your costs:
- Size of home
- Cooling needs for your climate or home location
- Model of AC
- Difficulty of installation
Choosing the appropriate size for your home will ensure that you’re not paying more than you need to for the perfect summer refuge.
Tonnage refers to the amount of heat an AC unit can remove from an interior in one hour. One ton equals 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units), which measures how much heat is needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. That amount cools about 400 square feet of living space, however, a square-foot calculation isn’t all you need to determine what size unit you need. Basements are naturally cooler than other stories of a home, for example.
Talk to your HVAC provider about what makes sense for your home. An AC that’s too small or too big will cost you — in dollars and comfort.
How to hire for air conditioning replacement
As with any service, hiring a reputable contractor for HVAC work makes all the difference in pricing and experience. Make sure anyone you hire is appropriately licensed and bonded, and will offer a transparent bid for you job. A bid will break down the costs of the unit, materials and installation. Getting your home cooling and heating system checked on and tuned up twice a year can help it last longer.
Having a long-term relationship with an HVAC contractor you trust means you’ll know who to call in an AC emergency.
For air conditioning replacement or repair in the Alexandria, Virginia, and D.C. metro area, contact the cool and friendly technicians at John C. Flood. In addition to AC service, John C. Flood offers repair and installation services for: humidifiers, air purification systems, programmable thermostats and electronic air cleaners.