Do not Purchase a New Air Conditioner This 12 months With out Studying It First


Jamie Clark

by Jamie Clark

2020 is projected to be the primary of many file years for air-conditioner substitute. With Freon taken off the market, over 50% of methods in present properties will turn into too costly to restore, making substitute a smart choice. When you have a system that is over 10 years outdated, it is onerous to justify a restore over $500. If the system is on outdated freon, it isn’t a good suggestion to spend any cash on repairs understanding it’s going to must be changed as quickly as doable.

We take our air conditioners calmly, however once they die, we understand how dependent now we have turn into on them, and we want that they had a fast restoration. Sadly, I frequently see prospects in a rush to chill down once more, typically not having time to correctly analysis a brand new system. They find yourself going with no matter’s sooner, after which they’re caught with the fallacious match for the subsequent 12-15 years.

Loads has modified with air-con and the way we cool our properties because you final purchased your system. The aim of this text is to teach you as a lot as doable, with the intention to make a extra knowledgeable choice when your present system is out. I will break down the differing types and choices in air-con, how we dimension methods at present, and provide some tips about choosing the proper contractor whereas avoiding the fallacious ones. I will contact on completely different manufacturers of gadgets, in addition to warranties and what else to count on.


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Once we take a look at the choices in several fashions of air-con, the most important distinction might be in effectivity and luxury options. In Central Kentucky, our utility charges are very low, so effectivity alone is not often the most important motivator for upgrading your system. For those who make your choice based mostly on consolation options alone, you may mechanically discover a extra environment friendly system—which is the icing on the cake. Most manufacturers of air-conditioners have over 20 completely different fashions which will fit your wants, however we are able to simply slender it down to 3 completely different classes to make your alternative easier.

#1. Base Mannequin or Builders Grade Single-Stage System, Often 14 SEER effectivity, that is the minimal effectivity system the federal government will permit us to promote to you. It’s a single-stage AC with a single-stage indoor fan. It is a easy bare-bones system, and it really works on the identical fundamental idea as the primary air-con system, designed in 1910. The drawback of this stage of apparatus is that it has a really aggressive worth level for producers, so it’s often made with low cost parts. This makes the system sooner, extra prone to break, and could have a shorter life expectancy. Greater than 80% of recent air-conditioners bought within the final 10 years belong to this mannequin primarily for 2 causes. First, builders often go for the least costly choices, and second, most HVAC contractors by no means educate owners on different choices, so that they really feel that that is their solely choice. When correctly sized and put in, this method is an effective alternative, however there are research that present that greater than 90% of those methods put in within the final decade are sized incorrectly, put in improperly, and Many instances each. I will write about this difficulty later within the article after we talk about sizing. Backside Line – For those who’re searching for one thing easy and cheap, this method is for you. Simply remember the fact that that is outdated expertise, and it is best to ideally purchase one thing that you just plan to maintain for 15 years.

#2. Two-stage air-conditioning with variable-speed indoor fan, Usually a 16 SEER system with a two-speed compressor. That is the place Vitality Star methods start, and they’re a preferred mid-way choice for individuals who wish to improve however don’t need all of the bells and whistles of a high-end system. Two-speed methods have existed because the early ’80s, so it is hardly new expertise, however it’s a giant step up from single-stage methods. The benefit of this method is that producers begin including in upgrades to make it quieter, extra comfy, and longer-lasting hearty parts.

Since our air conditioners are additionally our house dehumidifiers, it is very important perceive the worth in a two-stage air conditioner, and what makes it completely different from the single-stage choice listed above. We reside in an space that wants extra dehumidification than cooling, particularly with all of the moist climate we have had within the final 5 years. The draw back of the 14 SEER single-stage system above is that now we have to dimension it up for Kentucky’s worst summer season temperatures—sometimes 90-93 levels. The issue is {that a} system sized for 90+ levels is simply too large at 85 levels, and would not final lengthy sufficient to dehumidize your property. We name this short-cycling. Quick-cycling can result in moisture issues like mildew, mildew and mud mites. This will increase electrical energy payments as a result of the unit is approaching and off extra typically, akin to “stop-and-go driving in your automotive.” Additionally it is onerous on the gear, leading to a shorter life span and dearer repairs. As a rule, single-stage methods end in brief biking, which is a serious explanation for air-conditioning complaints throughout the trade.

In distinction, the superior two-stage variable pace system provides you the benefit of principally two completely different sizes in a single unit. The primary stage is about 60% the dimensions of the second stage. So when it is 80 levels and 80% humidity, it lasts longer, decreasing the humidity of your property thrice at a pace. Nevertheless, it nonetheless has the facility to chill your property on these further sizzling days. Similar to freeway driving provides you higher gas financial savings and is less complicated in your automotive, longer run instances to your AC are extra environment friendly and simpler on gear. So not solely is a two-speed system way more comfy, it’s going to additionally prevent cash in your electrical invoice, last more with fewer repairs, and end in decrease prices over its lifetime than a single-speed system. As well as, two-speed methods are extra forgiving when the contractor is sizing the system to your house, because the gear is tougher to supervise due to the decrease pace choice. Simply ensure you work with a contractor who’s skilled in putting in two-speed methods as a result of they require further information to put in appropriately and run at their most effective.

#3. variable quantity air conditioner, Usually starting from 18 SEER to twenty SEER, this method is the newest, most superior choice most producers have to supply. Japanese corporations similar to Mitsubishi have provided these methods because the 90s, however not many mainstream American producers picked them up till the late 2000s. Evaluating this method to a single-stage mannequin is like evaluating a Ford to a Tesla. Many of those methods can truly compete with geothermal of their effectivity, and with a warmth pump, we are able to now form them to nearly get rid of the necessity for costly auxiliary warmth. Precise operation will fluctuate by producer, however the fundamental idea is that the unit will begin at 20% of its capability and ramp up as wanted. This enables it to completely match the heating and cooling wants of your property. Whether or not it is 75 levels and 100% humidity, or 90 levels, the system will pace up or decelerate to totally meet the wants of your property, offering you with the suitable temperature and humidity always. Most manufacturers even have a complicated dehumidification characteristic constructed into the thermostat in order that the system can nonetheless run as a whole-house dehumidifier when you do not want cooling. It is a nice characteristic in Central Kentucky as a result of over 50% of our summers require dehumidification, not air-con. Because of the long term at very low capability ranges, it makes use of a fraction of the facility of a single-phase system, and considerably much less energy than a two-phase system. This technique is essentially the most handy energy-efficient system obtainable, and since it has been round for greater than 20 years, the expertise has been confirmed. Actually, it is confirmed to be sufficient that almost all producers provide higher warranties for it than for his or her decrease fashions. As a result of this stage is excessive finish, most producers use quieter components and extra sturdy parts, leading to fewer breakdowns and an extended life span. With this feature, it will be significant that you just use an skilled contractor who is aware of tips on how to set up and repair these methods. Many contractors solely set up just a few per yr, so if you wish to set up your system correctly, that is an space the place expertise issues.

Regardless of which of the three fundamental choices you resolve on is true to your house, remember to go along with a contractor who designs your new system and would not simply set up the identical dimension as yours. The cross was there earlier than. As talked about earlier within the article, quite a bit has modified since your earlier system arrived. Right now’s methods use a distinct refrigerant and carry out higher at smaller sizes, so typically we downsize gear, saving you cash on installs and your electrical energy payments. , For those who’ve transformed, changed your home windows, or upgraded your insulation in your attic or crawlspace (when you most likely have not) a high quality HVAC contractor may also help advise you on these vitality upgrades. is), you’ll nearly definitely want a smaller system. Ensure you work with somebody who sends an expert to teach you and enable you resolve which system is true to your house. Service technicians should be mechanics who’re paid to make things better—most aren’t educated within the options and advantages of the dimensions system and the completely different fashions. What’s worse is that there are a lot of large corporations in our space that pay service techs large commissions for promoting new methods as a substitute of attempting to repair something. Whenever you pay extra to promote than to repair the tech, human nature takes over and prospects reap the benefits of it. By no means purchase a brand new system from a service tech with out not less than getting a second opinion from a distinct firm. You’ll want to ask why the system is the suitable dimension and has the suitable options to your house’s wants.

Model and Guarantee

It is easy to get misplaced in all of the completely different manufacturers and complicated warranties. Most shoppers are usually not conscious that there are lower than ten major producers with over 100 manufacturers of apparatus. For instance, Provider’s mum or dad firm ICP makes a number of completely different manufacturers that actually simply have completely different stickers on the cupboards. In lots of instances, they even have related mannequin numbers. Most producers share expertise between manufacturers, and a few additionally share expertise with different producers. In at present’s HVAC market, most producers are sourcing an excessive amount of their inside parts from the identical third occasion sources, so we have reached a spot the place the standard from one model to a different is so uniform that it is price making a distinction. Troublesome to resolve on the idea of name alone. The putting in contractor has a dramatically higher impression on the standard of the HVAC set up you select.

In brief, many people will want a brand new air-conditioner within the close to future. You’ll want to educate your self and know your choices and price range earlier than you get caught in an emergency with a useless AC on a 90-degree day. Use a high quality contractor who will be certain that the AC they suggest is the suitable dimension to your house, and takes under consideration the wants of your loved ones with the varied options obtainable. By no means purchase instantly from a service tech with out getting a second opinion from a distinct firm. At Synergy, we provide free second opinions and about 80% of the time we can provide you a restore choice that one other firm failed to supply. Inquire about indoor air high quality choices to your system; It is at all times cheaper so as to add equipment when a system is being changed. With Superior Filters, you’ll be able to go as much as a yr at a time between filter adjustments. Ultraviolet mild will inhibit mould and kill viruses, and humidifiers will enhance consolation through the summer season.

Getting a brand new air-conditioner is the time to repair all these consolation and air high quality points you have been residing with since putting in the earlier system. Reap the benefits of the chance and educate your self with the intention to use this time to improve the air high quality, consolation and effectivity of your property.


Jamie Clark is the president of Synergy Properties LLC in Lexington.



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