If your HVAC system is more than eight years old, repair is probably not worth the expense, unless it’s a simple problem like debris clogging the condenser unit or a worn fan belt. Still, to best weigh your repair-or-replace decision, ask Snellville Heating And Air in DeKalb, Forsyth, and Oconee County Georgia to assess not just the condition of your existing equipment, but also the ducts that deliver the warm or cool air and the overall quality of the insulation in your house. Improving those elements might increase the effectiveness of the system as much or more than installing new machinery.
Assess the efficiency of your current system.
Even if your HVAC system is just eight to ten years old, it could suck up to twice the electricity that even a low-end new one would use. That’s because it operates at or below 10 SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is the amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output. Until 2006, 10 SEER was standard, but these days, the minimum allowed by federal law is 13 SEER. That translates to 30% less electrical consumption and 30% lower bills than equipment installed just a few years ago.
You can double your energy savings by jumping up to 16 SEER, which will reduce expenses by 60% over a 10 SEER unit. These super-efficient units may qualify for a federal tax credit and possibly local incentives, too.
Snellville Heating And Air can run the numbers for you to see whether it’s worth the additional cost. Customers in Barrow and surrounding Georgia counties certainly can make up those dollars pretty quickly.
You could upgrade to the highest efficiency gear available and still not feel comfortably cool on hot days. That’s because the mechanicals are only part of the central heating and air system. The average house’s duct-work leaks 10% to 30% of its air before it can reach your living space. Before deciding whether to repair or replace your condenser and blower units, get us to run a duct-leakage test, by sealing the vents and measuring how much air escapes the system.
If the ducts are inefficient, we can locate and seal the gaps, or replace the duct-work entirely with new, insulated pipe. Snellville Heating And Air can do the duct improvements in conjunction with replacement of the mechanicals or we may recommend only one or the other job.
Consider the building envelope itself
If your house is poorly insulated, it’s putting a strain on your aging air HVAC system. Resolving the house’s flaws may enable you to buy a smaller replacement system, lowering your upfront and ongoing energy costs significantly.
You may want to upgrade the building envelope. For example, we might recommend sealing gaps and cracks in the outer walls and attic floor, or blow insulation into the walls, either of which could knock as much as 30% off your heating and cooling costs. Insulation also may get you a federal tax credit.
Make sure a new system is sized right
Air conditioning is measured by the ton, which is the cooling power of a one-ton block of ice melting in 24 hours.
Some factors to consider in the new system size are the number of windows in your house, the thickness of insulation, the configuration of the attic, and the building’s orientation to the sun. It produces not only an exact tonnage requirement, but determines how much cool air each room needs. Snellville Heating And Air in DeKalb, Forsyth, and Oconee County Georgia will go over the bid with you in detail.