How Do I Know When It's Time To Replace My Old Air Conditioning System?
If Your AC is More Than 8 Years Old, Especially Here in Southwest Florida, Then It's Likely More Cost-Effective to Replace It, Than to Have It Repaired!
The technological advances in the HVAC industry over the past decade have been quite tremendous. In 2010 air conditioner manufacturers were required to switch to a new, non-CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) refrigerant that is more energy-efficient and better for the environment. In fact, a new air conditioner will cost on average 30-60% less to run and will actually keep you cooler than your old, outdated air conditioning system (saving you BIG money on your electrical bill).
Prior to pulling the trigger on a new AC replacement, it is essential that you have your ductwork thoroughly evaluated. Since the average home's ductwork is responsible for the loss of 10-30% of the air produced by your air conditioner (before it even reaches the building's interior!), you should ALWAYS have an HVAC technician perform a leakage test and seal any/all gaps in the system ahead of installing a new air conditioning unit.
Another major consideration in the decision-making process of air conditioner replacement is properly determining the correctly-sized unit for your space via a load-calculating test. In addition to dramatically dropping your potential energy-savings, an over-sized air conditioner unit is liable to do a lot more harm than good.
Larger units cost more, do not efficiently dehumidify the air (encouraging fungi and mildew growth) and cool the air flowing through far more quickly than is necessary, causing components to wear out prematurely as a result of the frequent switching between ON/OFF cycles.