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If you your split-system air conditioner seems to be breaking down more often and costing you more to operate, it may be time to invest in a new air conditioner. Of course, this represents a significant chunk of change, and if either your outside component or your inside component seems to be trouble-free, it could be tempting to replace just the component that’s having problems. You should think twice about following this course of action, and then you should think again. If your system is not properly matched, you probably won’t get the comfort and energy efficiency you expected. Worse yet, you could put unnecessary stress on your entire system and experience premature failure. Here’s a look at split air conditioners and how they work. 

An air conditioner doesn’t actually make cool air. Instead, it removes heat and moisture from the air already in your home to make it more comfortable. Your inside unit has an evaporator coil that contains a chilled refrigerant. Room air is drawn over the coil, and the coil absorbs the heat. The heated refrigerant then cycles outside to the condensing unit, which contains the compressor and condenser. The hot air is released. Then fresh air is drawn into the outside unit and sent back into your home, where the heat is absorbed. Then the air is distributed throughout your home via the ductwork. This process continues until your desired comfort level is reached.

It is easy to see how both the inside and outside components of a split system must work seamlessly together in order to achieve the best results. Before having a new air conditioner installed, you should know how your upfront decisions will affect your long-term costs and performance. Problems can arise when only one of the components is replaced. 

  • A new, high-efficiency component will not perform as promised if it’s joined with an older unit. This can mean increased costs to cool your home rather than the savings you had hoped to achieve. 
  • Going with a component that is cheaper and smaller can mean that the system will have to work too hard to keep your home cool. This will reduce the lifespan of both components and will most likely not produce the comfort level you need on hot days.
  • Newer systems that use a nonozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant must have properly matched components to prevent system failure. Older systems were not designed to use this type of refrigerant. 

The general lifespan of your split air-conditioning system is 15 to 20 years. Both components of that system have worked in tandem over the years, and although only one may need to be replaced now, it is safe to assume that the other component will need replacement at some point. The benefits of replacing both units with an entirely new system are obvious.

  • Purchasing a matched system might mean an additional cost now, but it will save you the hassle of continuing repairs on the old component and an additional replacement of that component in the near future. 
  • With a complete upgrade, you will begin to see the energy (and cost) savings immediately. Technological advances have produced systems that run more efficiently, are quieter and have an overall better performance standard. A new air conditioner is rated by its seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or the amount of energy that’s required to produce a cooling output. Today’s models all meet a minimum rating of 13, with many performing at a ratio of 20 or higher. Many older units have a SEER rating of six or less.
  • A new warranty will cover the entire system, which is not only beneficial to you, but also a top home improvement feature if you sell your home.
  • You won’t need to worry about ongoing, costly maintenance repairs with a new system, which will only need routine maintenance for many years to come.
  • 25C Energy Tax credits are available for energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment.

Purchasing a new air conditioning system is a home investment that will affect both your budget and your comfort level for many years. There are many factors to consider, and you should work closely with your HVAC contractor to choose a system that meets all your needs. Your contractor should be licensed and experienced. 

For more information on a new air conditioner for your home, contact the service professionals at Aqua Plumbing & Air. We’ve been proudly serving Sarasota, Bradenton and the surrounding area since 1974. 

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