When Is It Time to Upgrade Your AC?
The age old question: when is it time to move on to a new AC unit? It’s a good one to ponder because even if your air conditioner feels like it’s functioning fine, there’s a chance you may actually be wasting money on an inefficient system. We want you to have the best system to keep you comfortable and save you the most money during Portland’s summer months, so here are a few ways to figure out if you should be planning for an AC upgrade.
Your Home Just Isn’t Cool Enough
There are two main causes for your AC unit to struggle to cool your house. The first is infrequent maintenance. We may harp on regular maintenance a lot, but that’s because it’s so important (and saves you money). Without regular maintenance your system can accumulate dust, can start to have loose parts, or could have other issues from a lack of lubrication. Getting a tune-up should solve these problems, but if it doesn’t, then you are likely experiencing an incorrectly sized AC. If your unit is too small or too big for your square footage, it won’t keep your home cool no matter how well-maintained. Wolcott’s pros are here to help you upgrade to the appropriate size.
You’re Seeing Your AC Technician a Bit More Than You’d Like
While we absolutely love working with our customers, if you’re seeing us more frequently than for regular maintenance and a few infrequent repairs, your repairs can quickly add up to the price of a new unit and we just don’t want that for you. To figure out if a repair is the next step for your unit try using the 5,000 rule: multiply the age of your unit by the cost of the repair. If that number is equal to or greater than 5,000, you should definitely consider replacing the unit. So, if a four-year-old unit needs a $500 repair, you’d be wise to stick with your existing unit. However, if that unit is 10 years old, the same repair is no longer cost-effective and Wolcott can help you to figure out next steps.
Your Utility Bills Are Sky High
Your AC’s efficiency will gradually decline over time. On top of that the units that are being manufactured today are much more efficient in using less energy. According to the Department of Energy, replacing an air conditioner that’s just ten years old can reduce your energy costs 20 to 40 percent. If you are really feeling the pain in your pocket from your utility bills and your AC unit is more than a few years old, we can help you out.
You’d Like to Lower Your Environmental Impact
According to the Department of Energy, the average home uses about 11,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity every year, releasing 10,491 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. If you’re looking to reduce your emissions, you may be in need of a more efficient system. Look for the SEER rating on your system to see how energy efficient it is, the higher the better. Older systems can have a SEER ratings of 6 or less, while the minimum allowed for new systems today is 13.
You’re Looking For More Control of Your Home
To get more control over the temperature of your home a newer system may be what you are looking for. There are lots of options for newer systems that let you control both the temperature and your energy usage better. Offerings like a ductless system let you control the temperature differently in different parts of your house or programmable thermostats allow you to program and have your thermostat keep itself at the ideal settings for each part of the day and day of the week.
These are all things to keep in mind when deciding if it is time to move on to your next AC unit. We know this can be a hard and potentially costly decision to make so if you are having any hesitations or questions we are just a call away to help you out with your next steps.