Upgrading to a new system takes some research time and thought. Start now.
It doesn’t take long for pleasant warm spring weather to turn uncomfortably hot. If your air conditioner is showing signs of age, now is the time to think about an upgrade, not later when it’s already sweltering. If you noticed your AC is working harder or taking longer to cool your home last year, it’s time to consider an upgrade. Even if your older system is still pulling its weight, it’s probably sucking up more energy than necessary to do the job. A newer, more efficient model could save you a lot on your cooling bill this summer.
Knowing When It’s Time to Upgrade
If your current AC situation falls under one of these categories, it’s time to look at upgrading:
- Model is 10 or more years old.
- Escalating energy bills
- Uneven cooling through the house
- You’ve had to call for repairs more than once in the past year
- You find out it needs a repair that costs about half of what a new system would cost
Before You Buy
Of course, installing a new system in a leaky house isn’t the best way to go. Seal up leaks in your home before you consider upgrading. If your system is taking a long time to cool the home, it cold be just a matter of insulation – a much cheaper fix that upgrading the system. If you have other problems with your system, you probably still need an upgrade, but at least it will be in a home that is more energy efficient.
An energy assessment is a great way to find efficiency leaks while getting tips on other ways to save energy. We offer this service at MM Comfort Systems, or you could contact Seattle City Light also offers the service for $125. Either way, you’ll find ways to save energy and find rebates that may be available for making your home more energy efficient.
With that out of the way, you’ll be ready to check your options. According to energy.gov, it’s wise to replace the entire system if upgrading from an older one. In some cases, you may be able to upgrade the outside unit alone.
When shopping for an energy efficient model, look for seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings of 13 or better. Older systems are typically only 6 SEER, so you’re gaining a vast amount of efficiency by upgrading – more than double.
Other useful features to watch for include:
- Thermal expansion valve and a high-temperature rating (EER) greater than 11.6 for hotter climates
- Variable speed air handler
- Quiet operation
- Fan-only switch, allowing you to use the system as a ventilator at night without running the air conditioning
- Filter check light
- Automatic-delay fan switch, which turns off the fan a few minutes after the compressor shuts off
Ask MM Comfort Systems for Help in Choosing the Right A/C for Your Home
The experts at MM Comfort Systems can help you look at the options and choose the ones that best suit your needs and budget. Call us at 425.533.9058, or use or online contact form to set up a free air conditioning consultation.