With adequate maintenance, your air conditioner can work for 15 years or greater. But even the most well-maintained air conditioner will need to be replaced down the road.

When you’re getting started planning for air conditioning installation in Lake Forest, we know that the price is number one on your list of questions. The silver lining is that installing a new air conditioner may be more economical than you realize, due to rebates, our special offers and financing for qualified customers. You’ll also enjoy enhanced energy efficiency, which will likely pay off over time through less expensive cooling bills.

Here’s what to prepare for when you’re installing a new air conditioner.

When to Schedule Air Conditioner Replacement

Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner can be hard. Here’s what we advise.

Replace

  • Your air conditioner is older than 10 years old. While some could work longer, most air conditioners last for around 15 years with routine maintenance. We recommend planning for air conditioning replacement close to the 10-year age. Even if you replace it when it’s only a decade old, the U.S. Department of Energy says this tweak could save you 20-40% on cooling costs.
  • You’ve avoided regular maintenance for too long. Just like a car, your cooling system needs routine air conditioning maintenance. Skipping this critical service can result in diminished efficiency, more frequent repairs and even a decreased life span.
  • Your air conditioner needs frequent or expensive repairs. Needing air conditioning repair is often the outcome of skipping maintenance But as your air conditioner ages it’s more likely to experience a catastrophic breakdown. When repairs are more than half the cost of a new air conditioner, we recommend getting a new one.
  • Your home is uncomfortable. If your home feels too humid or you’re experiencing hot and cold spots in specific rooms, your air conditioner may be having difficulty keeping up. This is a hint it’s time to replace it.
  • Your utility bills are expensive. Your air conditioner gets less efficient as it ages. Consequently, it might need to operate more often or longer to keep your home at your desired temperature. Newer air conditioners have the top energy-efficient technology to keep your home comfy and electrical bills low.
  • Your air conditioner runs on R-22 refrigerant. If your air conditioner was purchased before 2010, there’s a good chance it has Freon. Also referred to as R-22, this refrigerant is no longer being made due to its damaging effects on the environment. You can keep using your air conditioner, but if it were to develop a refrigerant leak, fixing that would be very expensive. This is since R-22 is only available in limited, recycled amounts.

Repair

  1. Your air conditioner is less than 10 years old. If your air conditioner is newer, it’s smartest to repair it.
  2. Repairs aren’t needed all the time or inexpensive. The best way to avoid emergency repairs is to have yearly work completed. But when repairs are only needed intermittently or are reasonable, repair your air conditioner.
  3. Your air conditioner has a valid warranty. Most air conditioners come with a 5- to 10-year limited warranty that usually covers the compressor. Your exact warranty length depends on your manufacturer, but it gives valuable protection in the event of a major failure. If your air conditioner is protected by warranty, we suggest fixing it.

General Estimate of Air Conditioner Cost

Most 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 precise cost {might|could|may] vary.

There are a couple of factors that impact your total cost, including:

  • The air conditioner model you select, as more energy-efficient ones are higher priced.
  • The size your home needs.
  • If you need to replace your ductwork, which can happen if your ductwork is aging or inefficient.

We offer free estimates at 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning so you can be confident you’re getting a good deal. And with our wide range of air conditioners, there’s an energy-efficient model that works with just about any budget.

Air Conditioner Size

Air conditioner size is essential. A system that’s too small won’t be able to keep your house cool. And one that’s oversized may turn on and off too often, or short cycle. This act can drive up your energy costs and wear your air conditioner out prematurely. This may also lead to temperature variability and make your home feel less comfortable.

At 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, our professionals have many years of experience in correctly sizing and installing the right air conditioner for your house. The ideal size depends on how large your residence is, along with a few other factors. Some of the most standard 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 affect air conditioner size are:

  • The climate in Lake Forest.
  • Ductwork quality and age.
  • How many windows your house has and the style, since big or picture windows might be lower efficiency.
  • If your house has more sun or shade.
  • Insulation quality and depth.
  • How many people are in your family.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings

Your air conditioner’s efficiency is tied to its SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This ranking measures how efficiently it transforms electricity to create cooling. The bigger the number, the more efficient the air conditioner is.

When you’re getting a new air conditioner, it’s crucial to know:

  • Older air conditioners are classified around 8-9 SEER.
  • Updated 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 requirements. 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 include more features to help you save more. These features may involve variable-speed cooling. Instead of operating at full speed constantly, these air conditioners can reduce blower speeds based on your cooling needs. This leads to quieter and more energy-efficient air conditioning. While an air conditioner with a greater SEER rating is typically higher priced, it may be eligible for more rebates. And the energy savings over its lifetime may help it pay for itself.

Kickstart Your Air Conditioning Installation with 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning Today

When you’re preparing for air conditioning replacement, the company who hooks it up is just as essential as the model you select. 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning is one of the most trusted names for air conditioning installation in Lake Forest. From helping you find the ideal solution for your residence to discussing financing options to professional installation, partnering with our professionals is a breeze. Contact us at 949-204-0859 to get started right away!