Replacing a broken air conditioner is a big task that requires a lot of thought and consideration.. That is why most homeowners opt for monthly maintenance plans to hold off a system replacement and keep their current HVAC unit working at peak efficiency for as long as possible. Andy Lewis has been helping people extend the life of their units since 1994, but all air conditioners will eventually fail even with the best technicians on the job. When shopping for your new AC unit, you could be wondering where your money is actually going. Andy Lewis Heating & Air Conditioning is here to break down these costs and show you exactly what you are getting with a new air conditioner for your home.
Improving Efficiency Standards
As demand for energy continues to rise, new efficiency standards are implemented into industries to curb the economic and environmental costs of such high usage. The standard for air conditioning units is referred to as SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is calculated by dividing the total cooling output over a season by the amount of electrical energy used that same season. When less energy is required to run a unit, it will have a higher SEER rating. The current SEER standard is 14 while most units being replaced are only SEER 8-10, providing a large jump in efficiency for your home. By lowering the energy usage, your monthly bill is of course lowered as well, but building a higher efficiency unit has a higher initial cost.
Modern Electronics and Equipment
The onset of new technologies is also changing the way we do HVAC in our homes- we can construct an entire home comfort system catered to individual home’s needs rather than piecing together individual units. Indoor and outdoor parts of the air conditioning system need to have the proper AHRI matchup, meaning the indoor coil needs to be replaced as well as the actual outdoor AC unit. With this modern way of constructing an HVAC system, higher peak efficiency can be reached in every facet of your home. This, once again, lowers your monthly energy bill and the environmental costs, but has a slightly higher upfront cost than older units.
With the big picture taken into account, the full system can be optimized- but that doesn’t mean the individual units have not improved either. Andy Lewis Heating & Air Conditioning offers Lennox products with variable speed motors which allows for precise control over temperature. Older units kick on to 100% power at a certain temperature and kick off to 0% power at a different temperature, keeping your home in a band of temperature. With variable speed motors, the fan runs at lower speeds using less power, providing consistent temperatures. This provides more comfort, quieter operation, and lower power consumption. In order to gain this increased comfort and efficiency, more moving parts and computerized technology goes into our air conditioners. Solid state electronics make these improvements possible over the simple relays and switches used before, yet have a higher cost for the end product.
Converting to the Latest Refrigerants
Another key improvement we have made to these systems is the use of R410A refrigerant, known commonly as Puron®, replacing the use of R22 refrigerant, known commonly as Freon®. Freon is a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon or HCFC, which depletes the ozone layer versus Puron, a hydro-fluorocarbon or HFC, which does not deplete the ozone layer. The cost of Puron is slightly higher, but it holds and releases more heat than Freon and prevents compressors from overheating much more efficiently. By diminishing the risk of overheating, the air conditioning unit needs less maintenance and repairs and will have a longer life at your home.
Ductwork Modifications for Improved Airflow
New AC units have different airflow capacities and demand a certain sized ductwork system to cool your home efficiently. If the ductwork is too large, the airflow will be very weak and if it is too small, your vents will blow much harder than necessary creating a noisier system. This also affects how often your air conditioner will run throughout the day, depending on how quickly it can cool your home during a hot day. Understanding ductwork and how it relates to efficiency has been a problem Andy Lewis has been solving for over a decade- let us determine if you need improvements to your ductwork when replacing your air conditioning system.
When it comes to replacing your air conditioner for your home, Andy Lewis Heating & Air Conditioning is here to walk you through the process. We will help determine if a replacement is necessary, if the improvements discussed here are needed and how to keep your home comfortable affordably and efficiently. The technologies that have improved our health and energy usage so much also seem to be associated with higher costs- but this is only initially. The cost to upgrade your home’s HVAC comfort system may be higher today than it was ten years ago, but it is offset by much lower monthly energy costs, lower environmental costs, and health improvements in our homes. Consider a new air conditioner for your home as an investment in your energy usage and your family’s health and reap the rewards today! Call Andy Lewis Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment to discuss your options today.