When your air conditioner is on the fritz, you want to solve the problem fast. However, you may not be sure which option is exactly right for you, so check out these four popular FAQs regarding air conditioning repair and replacement.
Is It Better to Repair or Replace?
If you already have central air conditioning in your home, but the system isn't working quite right or at all, you'll need to decide if you should repair or replace the unit. Naturally, a repair is much less expensive than a total replacement. However, if your system is particularly old, frequent repairs can add up quickly. On the other hand, if you rarely need repairs and the system is still new, a repair is probably the more financially sound option.
Central air conditioning units are expected to last a minimum of about 10 years. Therefore, if your system is around ten years or older, a repair is probably not going to solve the problem. Most likely, you'll waste money on constant repairs and poor efficiency. In this case, it's best to replace your system with something newer that is more energy-efficient.
Are Window Units Beneficial?
Window units and portable units are another option to consider in the hot summer months. While central air conditioning is the most comfortable, it is also expensive to install and run. Window units and portable units are much cheaper and don't require professional instillation. You can typically purchase them in store and install them as soon as you get home.
These units won't keep your entire house cool, however. They are typically designed for use in one room, such as a bedroom, living room, etc. You'll also need to determine which size you want. Larger window units expel more cold air for larger rooms, but they also cost more. You want to get the right unit for your size room. The great thing about portable units is that you can move them from room to room as long as there is a window.
What Maintenance Is Required?
A central air conditioning unit requires a lot more maintenance than a window unit. A window unit may need to be occasionally cleaned and emptied, but they are so cheap, they can easily be replaced if they become inefficient. On the other hand, unless you want to spend thousands on a new central air conditioning system every few years, this type of system does need regular maintenance, such as lubrication, cleaning and filter replacement.
It's also important that you keep an ear and nose on your central AC unit too. When the system starts to act up, you may notice strange noises and unpleasant odors. These signs usually mean a professional repair is in order, but if you keep up on the regular maintenance, you'll need fewer repairs and inspections.
Are There Special Features to Consider?
Some units have additional features besides being Energy Star rated. Zoned air conditioning is one popular option that allows you to control the temperature in different rooms. With zoned systems, different zones of the home can be set to different temperatures. Therefore, if you have a room you rarely use, you can avoid sending cooled air there without damaging the system.
If you have breathing problems from asthma or allergies or if you simply live in a region that is too humid or dry, other features include humidifiers, dehumidifier,s and air purifiers. The humidifier and dehumidifiers pull moisture from or expel moisture into the air to make breathing more comfortable. The air purifiers remove allergens while also cooling the home.
If your air conditioner is acting up, or if you don't have one at all, it's time to consider central air conditioning or at least a window unit. If you would like more information regarding heating and cooling, contact a HVAC specialist in your area today.