Heating and cooling are two things that most homeowners rely on to make their living spaces comfortable and livable. So when you fire up the thermostat and the cool air you’re seeking doesn’t issue forth, or if your system seems to suffer frequent and expensive problems, perhaps it’s time to replace your equipment and upgrade to a newer, more reliable, and more energy-efficient system. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider in the process.
- Maintenance and repairs. If your system is in bad shape because you’re not taking proper care of it with annual inspections, cleaning, maintenance, and repairs, it could be that a full scale renovation is unnecessary. Maybe all you need is a good cleaning and a few repairs to get your system in ship shape and running at peak performance. Not every homeowner goes into buying property with the knowledge of expected maintenance. So if you’ve failed to conduct appropriate upkeep on your AC system and it’s suffering as a result, see if some basic maintenance and repairs will do the trick before you scrap the whole lot and replace it.
- Average usage. If you live in a climate that features predominantly cooler temperatures, you simply may not get much use out of your AC. Many homes feature central air systems that include both heat and air conditioning, but if you use the latter only rarely throughout the year, replacing your system might not be very cost-effective. Obviously you want your system to work when you need it, but an all-out replacement when you only use your AC once in a blue moon could constitute a huge waste of money. If, on the other hand, you live in a climate that is hot year-round, it is imperative to have an AC system that works. In this case replacement is essential if your system is failing.
- The size of your home. Believe it or not, the size of your home has a lot to do with the AC unit and ductwork your select. You need your AC unit to be appropriate for your square footage so that you don’t end up with a huge electric bill each month, or worse, system failure because your unit is incapable of properly cooling your home. As for ductwork, you have to make sure that the materials used and the size of the runs are conducive to getting cool air where it needs to go without inadvertently cooling unused cavities surrounding your living spaces. This will ensure the greatest overall efficiency and the best use of your system.
- Future plans. Before you shell out thousands of dollars to upgrade your AC system you should think about how long you plan to stay in your home. If you’re raising a family and you plan to stay for the foreseeable future, you definitely want a top-notch system in place. But if you’re looking to move within the next few months or years, you might want to temper your spending to ensure that you see the best return on your investment.
- Eco-friendly options. Most homeowners know when to start considering AC replacement: when their system stops working and the costs of repairs becomes prohibitive. But you might also want to think about upgrading when you realize what you stand to save each month by switching to a modern, energy-efficient AC unit. If your outdated system is costing you an arm and a leg and you’ve got it running around the clock for a significant portion of the calendar year, it might be time to do your part for the environment and lower your energy bill in the process with an eco-friendly upgrade.
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