Questions you should ask when replacing your A/C unit

During the summer months, everyone wants a properly functioning air conditioning system; however, when you live in Montgomery, AL it is a need to have an A/C unit that will withstand the constant heat advisories. On average, A/C units will last anywhere from 10-15 years. Therefore, it might be time to start thinking about options if you are coming up on that 10 year mark. Today’s best units can use ~30%-50% less energy to produce the same cooling effects. That being said, your energy bills could be greatly reduced by replacing your dated unit with a more up-to-date model.

All of this being said, if your unit is still functioning properly, there is no need to have a brand new model installed. However, if you are noticing that it might be getting close to time, you might save yourself money if you went ahead and made the switch.

If you are on the market for a new A/C unit, here are some things you should consider so that you can get all the benefits from your purchase:

1. What size A/C unit do I need?

When your licensed contractor is drawing up an installation plan, he/she will measure to come up with the heating and cooling loads for your home. Your contractor will measure all the rooms in your house, including ceiling height, to determine the spaces that need to be cooled. He/she will also note the amount, type, and orientation of windows, infiltration rate, duct leakage, and more. They will put their obtained information into their load calculation software and find out how many Btu’s/hour your home needs. The Manual J load calculation protocol is a common way of doing this.

2. Will the contractor test for duct leakage?

The internal parts of the system is what keeps your home cool and comfortable without you thinking twice about it. The distribution system plays a big role, and the typical duct system has a lot of leakages in it. You are paying a lot of money to keep your home cool, do you want to waste cooling through leaky ducts in your system? A duct leakage test will give you insight to the condition of your ducts.

3. What will power my A/C unit?

Your A/C unit can be powered by gas or electricity. Your option rises depending on if you are replacing an existing unit or installing a whole new system. You can research this topic to find more on the pros and cons as well as talk to your contractor for his/her advice. 

4. Where should my thermostat be located?

The thermostat is the mind that runs the entire system; therefore, you want to make sure it takes accurate readings so that it will instruct the system to run according to your setting. If your thermostat is located directly under an air vent, it might register cooler temperatures than the rest of the house. On the opposite end, if it is set off to a warmer part of the house, just the opposite will happen. Make sure the thermostat’s location is in a comfortable area of the house, and that it is easy to access.