With adequate maintenance, your air conditioner can last 15 years or longer. 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 realize that cost tops your list of questions. The bright side is that getting a new air conditioner may be more reasonable than you realize, thanks to rebates, our special offers and financing for qualified customers. You’ll also enjoy better energy efficiency, which will likely pay off over the years through less expensive electrical bills.

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

When to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Knowing when to repair or replace your air conditioner might be difficult. Here’s what our pros suggest.

Replace

  • Your air conditioner is older than 10 years old. While some might last longer, the majority of air conditioners run for around 15 years with annual maintenance. We advise prepping for air conditioning replacement around the 10-year point. Even if you replace it 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 avoided routine maintenance for too long. Just like a car, your cooling system needs routine air conditioning maintenance. Overlooking this essential service can cause lower efficiency, more frequent repairs and even a decreased life span.
  • Your air conditioner requires frequent or costly repairs. Needing air conditioning repair is usually the result of skipping tune-ups But as your air conditioner gets older it’s more likely to experience a big problem. When repairs are greater than half the cost of a new air conditioner, it’s time to get a new one.
  • Your residence is uncomfortable. If your house feels too sticky or you’re having hot and cold spots in specific rooms, your air conditioner may be having difficulty keeping up. This is a clue it’s time to replace it.
  • Your energy bills are high. Your air conditioner gets less efficient as it becomes older. As a consequence, it could need to operate 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 house comfy and utility bills low.
  • Your air conditioner has R-22 refrigerant. If your air conditioner was replaced before 2010, there’s a high likelihood it uses Freon. Also known as R-22, this refrigerant is no longer being made due to its bad effects on the environment. You can keep using your air conditioner, but if it were to develop a refrigerant leak, fixing that would be extremely expensive. This is since R-22 is only available in limited, recycled amounts.

Repair

  1. Your air conditioner is no more than 10 years old. If your air conditioner is newer, it’s best to repair it.
  2. Repairs are infrequent or inexpensive. The wisest way to avoid emergency repairs is to have annual maintenance scheduled. But when repairs are only needed intermittently or are economical, repair your air conditioner.
  3. Your air conditioner is under warranty. Most air conditioners are accompanied by a 5- to 10-year limited warranty that often covers the compressor. Your exact warranty length is up to your manufacturer, but it gives valuable protection in the event of a big failure. If your air conditioner is under warranty, we suggest fixing it.

Typical 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|could|may] be different.

There are a few details that influence your total cost, such as:

  • The air conditioner model you install, because more energy-efficient ones are pricier.
  • The size your space needs.
  • If you need to put in new ductwork, which can be required if your ductwork is dated or inefficient.

We give free estimates at Three Rivers Heating & Cooling so you can know you’re getting a good deal. And with our complete range of air conditioners, there’s an energy-efficient model that accommodates just about any budget.

Air Conditioner Sizing

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 frequently, or short cycle. This act can increase your energy expenses and wear your air conditioner out more quickly. This might also lead to temperature instabilities and make your residence feel less comfy.

At Three Rivers Heating & Cooling, our technicians have many years of experience in properly sizing and installing the right air conditioner for your home. The right size depends on how spacious your home is, along with a couple other things. Some of the most typical 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 things that can affect air conditioner size are:

  • The climate in Portland.
  • Ductwork quality and age.
  • How many windows you have and the style, since large or picture windows might be more inefficient.
  • If your home gets more sun or shade.
  • Insulation quality and thickness.
  • How many people live in your home.

SEER Ratings

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

When you’re installing a new air conditioner, it’s important to realize:

  • Old air conditioners are classified around 8-9 SEER.
  • New air conditioners start at 13 SEER. Ones installed in the southwest and southeast must be a minimum of 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 have additional features to help you save more. These features may entail variable-speed cooling. Instead of operating at 100% all the time, these air conditioners can fine-tune blower speeds based on your cooling requirements. This leads to quieter and more energy-efficient comfort. While an air conditioner with a better SEER rating is usually higher priced, it could be eligible for more rebates. And the energy savings over its life span might help it pay for itself.

Request a Free Quote for Your Air Conditioning Installation with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling Right Away

When you’re preparing for air conditioning replacement, the company who installs it is just as important as the model you choose. Three Rivers Heating & Cooling is one of the most trusted names for air conditioning installation in Portland. From helping you select the right solution for your house to reviewing financing options to professional installation, working with our pros is a breeze. Call us at 503-213-4433 to get started now!