With adequate maintenance, your air conditioner can last 15 years or more. But even the best maintained air conditioner will need to be updated down the road.
When you’re starting to plan for air conditioning installation in Rapid City, we realize that the expense is at the top of your list of questions. The good news is that buying a new air conditioner might be more reasonable than you realize, because of rebates, our special offers and financing for qualified customers. You’ll also get enhanced energy efficiency, which will typically pay off over time through cheaper electricity bills.
Here’s what to prepare for when you’re replacing your air conditioner.
When to Replace Your Air Conditioner
Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner might be difficult. Here’s what we advise.
- Your air conditioner is older than 10 years old. While some could work longer, the majority of air conditioners work for around 15 years with annual maintenance. We advise planning for air conditioning replacement near the 10-year point. Even if you replace it when it’s only a decade old, the U.S. Department of Energy says this swap could save you 20-40% on cooling costs.
- You’ve neglected annual maintenance for many years. Just like a car, you cooling system has to have annual air conditioning maintenance. Skipping this crucial service can result in decreased efficiency, more persistent repairs and even a reduced life span.
- Your air conditioner requires frequent or pricey repairs. Needing air conditioning repair is often the result of overlooking service. But as your air conditioner gets older, it’s more likely to have a big malfunction. When repairs are more than half the cost of a new air conditioner, it’s time to get a new one.
- Your home is uncomfortable. If your house feels too muggy or you’re having hot and cold spots in specific rooms, your air conditioner could be having a hard time keeping up. This is a sign you need to replace it.
- Your utility bills are high. Your air conditioner becomes less efficient as it becomes older. Consequently, it may need to work more often or longer to keep your house at your desired setting. Newer air conditioners have the latest energy-efficient technology to keep your home cool and electrical expenses reasonable.
- Your air conditioner has R-22 refrigerant. If your air conditioner was replaced before 2010, there’s a good chance it runs on Freon. Also referred to as R-22, this refrigerant is no longer being produced due to its bad effects on the environment. You can keep using your air conditioner, but if it were to experience a refrigerant leak, fixing that would be very expensive. This is due to the fact R-22 is only available in limited, recycled amounts.
- Your air conditioner is less than 10 years old. If your air conditioner is newer, it’s smartest to repair it.
- Repairs aren’t needed all the time or reasonable. The best way to stop emergency repairs is to have yearly work done. But when repairs are only needed not very often or are economical, repair your air conditioner.
- Your air conditioner has a valid warranty. Most air conditioners are accompanied by a 5- to 10-year limited warranty that usually covers the compressor. Your exact warranty length is up to your manufacturer, but it offers valuable protection in the event of a major failure. If your air conditioner is under warranty, we advise 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 may 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 more expensive.
- The size your home needs.
- If you need to replace your ductwork, which can be required if your ductwork is dated or damaged.
We provide free estimates at Precision Mechanical so you can be confident you’re getting a fantastic deal. And with our complete range of air conditioners, there’s an energy-efficient model that works with just about any budget.
Air Conditioner Size
Air conditioner size is crucial. A system that’s undersized will struggle to keep your home cool. And one that’s too big might turn on and off too frequently, or short cycle. This act can increase your energy expenses and wear your air conditioner out faster. This might also cause temperature instabilities and make your residence feel less comfortable.
At Precision Mechanical, our professionals have many years of experience in correctly sizing and installing the right air conditioner for your home. The size you need depends on how spacious your house is, in addition to a couple other considerations. Some of the most typical 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 considerations that can impact air conditioner size are:
- The climate in Rapid City
- Ductwork quality and age
- How many windows you have and the style, because large or picture windows might be more inefficient
- If your home has more sun or shade
- Insulation quality and concentration
- How many people live in your home
Your air conditioner’s efficiency is impacted by its SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This ranking measures how well it transforms electricity to create cooling. The greater the number, the more efficient the air conditioner is.
When you’re installing a new air conditioner, it’s crucial to know:
- Dated air conditioners are rated around 8-9 SEER.
- New air conditioners start at 13 SEER. Ones installed in the southwest and southeast must be no less than 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 have additional features to help you save more. These features may entail variable-speed cooling. Instead of running at full speed continuously, these air conditioners can reduce blower speeds based on your cooling requirements. This results in quieter and more energy-efficient comfort. While an air conditioner with a better SEER rating is often higher priced, it could be eligible for extra rebates. And the energy savings over time might help it pay for itself.
Start Your Air Conditioning Installation with Precision Mechanical Now
When you’re doing air conditioning replacement, the company who hooks it up is just as important as the model you go with. Precision Mechanical is one of the top names for air conditioning installation in Rapid City. From helping you select the right solution for your residence to reviewing financing options to professional installation, working with our pros is a breeze. Call us at 605-206-3766 to get started right away!