The Right Temperature
Replacing an Old Air Conditioning System Can Save Energy and Cut Long-term Costs For Homeowners
Most homeowners will admit that even though the weather in San Diego is relatively mild year-round, their air conditioning systems definitely get a workout in the hotter summer months. According to Jason Purgason of JPM Heating & Air, Inc., air conditioning systems last for only about 18 to 20 years before needing to be replaced. And even if the system isn’t that old, homeowners who notice their air conditioning systems are not operating at the same level at the end of summer as they were in June may also want to consult with a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional. “Typically, a simple diagnostic of a unit’s age and condition will give insight into whether or not a system needs to be replaced,” explained Purgason.
Although replacing an air conditioning system may seem more costly than simply repairing an older unit, oftentimes newer systems are more cost and energy efficient, leading to greater savings in the long-term. “Newer systems can have less impact on the environment and on the homeowner’s budget. Replacing a faulty unit cannot only improve the efficiency of your heating or cooling unit, but also reduce the day-to-day costs of running one,” stated Purgason. Newer units tend to be more accurate and user-friendly, enabling homeowners to customize settings for optimum energy and cost savings. In addition, homeowners who purchase high efficiency units may receive tax benefits for reducing their carbon footprint.
Before deciding to replace an air conditioning system, it is important to work with an HVAC professional to determine what system will work best in the home. “When replacing a system, the size of the home, usage style, geographic location and the insulation capability of your home are all things to be considered,” said Purgason. In other words, the new system must be compatible with the needs of the individual homeowner and accommodate the living space where it will be used.
Most HVAC companies will remove old units when replacing it with a new one. The old units are typically taken to a recycling center for scrap metal and parts. And regardless of whether a homeowner decides to install a new air conditioning system or stick with their old one, changing the filter is essential. Purgason recommends performing this easy, do-it-yourself task up to four times per year for older systems and at least twice per year for newer systems.