Pros and cons of new air conditioning: a consumer's guide
Before you install air conditioner components, learn more about the pros and cons of new air conditioning in a house, condo, townhome or apartment.
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If you do not have an air conditioner or your current air conditioner does not do an adequate job, it may be time to purchase a new central air conditioning system. The pros and cons of new air conditioning depend on your budget, the size of your home, and the type of air conditioning you choose.
It might make more sense to purchase a new conditioner when the cost of repairing an old AC unit is close to or even above the cost of purchasing a new unit. Some air conditioner repairs are inexpensive, but others cost several hundred or several thousand dollars.
For example, replacing the fan motor of an existing unit may cost anywhere from $275 to $575, depending on the model. Installing a new air compressor may cost as much as $2,200.
If you can buy a new air conditioner for less than the estimated repair cost for your current one, a new air conditioner makes more sense.
Discuss the pros and cons of new air conditioning for your specific space with a contractor! Get free installation estimates!
The pros and cons of new air conditioning also depend on the model you currently have. Some older models use refrigerants that damage the ozone layer. Although the Environmental Protection Agency is not requiring homeowners to replace their existing air conditioners, the agency has banned certain refrigerants from being used in new models.
The EPA is still allowing the production of R-22, a type of refrigerant used in older models, for the purpose of repairing older air conditioners. If you are concerned about your impact on the environment, purchasing a new air conditioner may be the best choice.
Energy efficiency is another important concern when you're deciding whether to purchase a new air conditioner or replace an existing one. If you choose to purchase a new air conditioner, you'll have the opportunity to purchase a model that meets the energy efficiency guidelines of Energy Star. Purchasing an air conditioner that conforms to the requirements of this program can help you save money on your home energy costs and protect the environment from the damaging effects of greenhouse gases.
Although purchasing a new air conditioner has several advantages, it also has some drawbacks. One of the major disadvantages is cost. If you don't already have an air conditioner, you will increase your energy costs by switching from fans and open windows to an air conditioning unit.
If the estimated repair cost is not too expensive, it may make more sense to keep your current air conditioner and avoid buying a new one. For instance, replacing a capacitor costs $40 to $80, so making this repair is more cost effective than purchasing a new unit at today's air conditioner prices.
Whether you decide to buy a new air conditioner or replace your current one, hiring a reputable professional is important. Use Reply! to find an HVAC specialist to give you an air conditioner estimate and discuss warranty considerations with you. An experienced contractor can also help you understand the pros and cons of new air conditioning and educate you about controlling your home cooling costs.