With adequate maintenance, your air conditioner can last 15 years or more. But even the best maintained air conditioner will need to be updated eventually.
When you’re beginning to plan for air conditioning installation in Portland, we are aware that cost tops your list of questions. The bright side is that buying a new air conditioner might be more reasonable than you think it is, due to rebates, our special offers and financing for qualified customers. You’ll also enjoy improved energy efficiency, which will likely pay off over its life span through less expensive electrical bills.
Here’s what to anticipate when you’re installing a new air conditioner.
When to Replace Your Air Conditioner
Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner may be hard. Here’s what our professionals recommend.
- Your air conditioner is past 10 years old. While some could run longer, many air conditioners run for around 15 years with regular maintenance. We advise prepping for air conditioning replacement near the 10-year mark. Even if you install a new one when it’s only a decade old, the U.S. Department of Energy says this change could save you 20-40% on cooling bills.
- You’ve neglected routine maintenance for a long time. Much like a car, you cooling system needs regular air conditioning maintenance. Overlooking this important service can lead to diminished efficiency, more frequent repairs and even a shorter life span.
- Your air conditioner requires frequent or costly repairs. Needing air conditioning repair is frequently the consequence of not doing service. But as your air conditioner gets older, it’s more likely to have a catastrophic breakdown. When repairs are more than half the cost of a new air conditioner, it’s time to get a new one.
- Your residence isn’t comfortable. If your residence feels too humid or you’re experiencing hot and cold spots in given spaces, your air conditioner might be having a hard time keeping up. This is a hint you should replace it.
- Your energy bills are high. Your air conditioner gets less efficient as it gets older. As a consequence, it may need to run more frequently or longer to keep your residence at your desired setting. Newer air conditioners have the most up-to-date energy-efficient technology to keep your residence cool and cooling expenses reasonable.
- Your air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant. If your air conditioner was replaced before 2010, there’s a high likelihood it has Freon. Also referred to as R-22, this refrigerant is no longer being made due to its bad effects on the environment. You can continue to use your air conditioner, but if it were to have a refrigerant leak, fixing that would be extremely expensive. This is due to the fact R-22 is only available in limited, recycled amounts.
- Your air conditioner is no more than 10 years old. If your air conditioner is newer, it’s best to repair it.
- Repairs are infrequent or inexpensive. The smartest way to stop unanticipated repairs is to have regular work completed. But when repairs are only needed intermittently or are economical, repair your air conditioner.
- Your air conditioner is covered by a warranty. Most air conditioners come with a 5- to 10-year limited warranty that typically covers the compressor. Your exact warranty length depends on your manufacturer, but it offers valuable protection in the event of a big failure. If your air conditioner is under warranty, we recommend fixing it.
Air Conditioner Cost
The majority of homeowners spend around $4,631 on a new air conditioner, per national averages compiled by HomeGuide. Air conditioner cost averages often range from $3,350 to $5,912, but your total cost might vary.
There are a few aspects that impact your total cost, like:
- The air conditioner model you install, because more energy-efficient ones are higher priced.
- The size your space needs.
- If you need to replace your ductwork, which can happen if your ductwork is dated or damaged.
We give free estimates at Three Rivers Heating & Cooling so you can be confident you’re getting a fantastic deal. And with our full range of air conditioners, there’s an energy-efficient model that fits just about any budget.
Air Conditioner Size
Air conditioner size is critical. A system that’s too little won’t be able to keep your residence cool. And one that’s too big could turn on and off too often, or short cycle. This action can drive up your utility costs and wear your air conditioner out more quickly. This could also create temperature instabilities and make your house feel less cool.
At Three Rivers Heating & Cooling, our pros have many years of experience in correctly sizing and installing the right air conditioner for your house. The right size depends on how big your residence is, in addition to a couple other things. 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 weather in Portland
- Ductwork quality and age
- How many windows your house has and the style, because big or picture windows may be less efficient
- If your house gets more sun or shade
- Insulation quality and thickness
- How many people are in your family
Your air conditioner’s efficiency is tied to its SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This ranking measures how well it transforms electricity to create cooling. The greater the ranking, the more efficient the air conditioner is.
When you’re installing a new air conditioner, it’s essential to be aware:
- Older air conditioners are classified around 8-9 SEER.
- New air conditioners start at 13 SEER. Ones installed in the southwest and southeast must be at least 14 SEER due to U.S. Department of Energy regulations. 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 all the time, 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 greater SEER rating is typically higher priced, it may be eligible for more rebates. And the energy savings over its life span might help it pay for itself.
Start Your Air Conditioning Installation with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling Right Away
When you’re preparing for air conditioning replacement, the company who hooks it up is just as important as the model you select. Three Rivers Heating & Cooling is one of the number one names for air conditioning installation in Portland. From helping you select the recommended solution for your residence to discussing financing options to professional installation, collaborating with our pros is a breeze. Contact us at 503-213-4433 to start today!