Now that it’s spring and the weather is still fine, you might be tempted to delay prioritizing your AC unit. But spring is definitely the best time to consider this, so as not to cram on this matter by the time you really need it to function properly.
Are you thinking of checking the health of your AC system only by the end of May? That might already be too late because when your system indeed has a problem that needs professional hands, then you may suffer from a broken unit in the first weeks of summer. It could be the type of problem that requires AC installation, but not necessarily. By the time pros fix your problem, you may have already been suffering in the sweltering heat for weeks already.
One of the major considerations any HVAC system owner would have to think about is when is the time for an upgrade. Are you ready to enjoy a new AC system and dispose of the old one or are you still good with the existing unit? Do you want more or less the same system or do you want to step up with a more advanced type? Here are some things to consider:
Decide: Is a New Air Conditioning System a Need or a Want?
Just because you remember that you suffered from a really loud air conditioner when you last used it doesn’t mean that your entire system needs an overall replacement, really. Try to think about where you are basing this decision to upgrade your AC system. If you think you need to upgrade your HVAC system because of a flimsy reason, then hold your horses and try to consult an expert HVAC service first for a second opinion. They may find the cause of your unit not functioning efficiently, like a hole in your refrigerant lines or a malfunctioning compressor.
There are things they can certainly help you with that will not lead you to spend thousands of dollars for a new AC system. Unless you just want to upgrade because you want to splurge (not really a good idea considering the economics of this pandemic), you might want to think of whether that new system is really something you need or just an extravagance that can actually be avoided with expert opinion.
No matter what, if your AC is over 12-15 years old, it’s time to consider a new one as it’s at the end of its lifespan. Maybe you’re not having major problems with it yet, but the clock is ticking, and you don’t want it to inevitably go out at the worst possible moment.
What Air Conditioning Replacement System Do You Need?
So, say you already consulted with an air conditioning repair service and have been advised that indeed, your house or place of business does need a new system. The next wise thing to do would be to do some shopping. At the very least, you need to start strategizing on what you will be shopping for. You’re not thinking of just going online and click on “Purchase Item” at the first sparkly AC system you set your eyes on, do you? If you still have that AC repair expert with you, then try to get advice on what system would be best for you. After all, the first decision you will have to make after saying yes to the upgrade is what type of system you will be owning.
The most common type of central air conditioning is the split system, which features a large, boxy condenser outside the home and a fan-and-coil system inside, connected by pipes carrying refrigerant. The air is distributed through ductwork. However, not every home can accommodate the ductwork needed to install central air.
Are You Aware of Local Code Regulations?
If you don’t know yet, there are local and federal code regulations when it comes to heating and cooling systems. For cooling systems, you might be tempted to purchase a very affordable “rarely used” AC unit that runs on an R-22 refrigerant. But code regulations do not only cover the unit itself, as it covers entire heating and cooling systems, which means you should also take note of vents, connections, wiring, and ducts. For all of those concerns, you can, again, ask an AC repair or service provider.
The installation of an HVAC system is a delicate process and subject to numerous code provisions. Most localities base their code on the Uniform Mechanical Code, written and updated every three years by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials. Unless you’re an HVAC technician you should never try to install a new system on your own.
Is Space a Concern?
Will your new system take up the same space as the system you want to be replaced? If the old and new ones have the same energy requirements and sizes, then you may not have to implement major changes. However, if there are obvious differences in sizes between the two systems, have your ac service contractor give you recommendations on how to move forward with your upgrade.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to have at least 12-inches of air conditioner clearance on all sides of your AC unit.
But depending on what is located nearest your AC unit, you may get away with less space or need more clearance.
Any other concerns about your air conditioning unit or HVAC system? Let Air Check Mechanical Service help you decide on your AC system upgrade today!