air conditionerWhen you’re considering a major purchase like a new car, it can be difficult to fight the feeling that you’re “being sold.” The feeling often intensifies if you’re unsure about the purchase in the first place.

Just as you weigh the pros and cons of investing in a new car, you should deliberate the advantages of investing in a new air conditioning system just as carefully.

The big difference is, with this potential purchase, you’ll have a helpful and knowledgeable expert in Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning. And rest assured: the only thing we’re interested in “selling” our valued customers is trust in the veracity of our inspection.

A comprehensive inspection is vital because it just could be that your air conditioner needs only a repair (or series of repairs) to keep it running. Oftentimes, this “stop-gap” measure allows a homeowner to save up for the inevitability of purchasing a new air conditioner.

And herein lies a key point: just like any other mechanical system – cars included – air conditioners have an expected lifespan. Most last about 15 years – longer if they’re meticulously maintained.

If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, and the repairs are getting gradually more substantial in scope and cost – approaching about 50 percent of the value of the entire system – it might be time to invest in a new air conditioner.

Charlie’s defers to an objective, third-party source when adding up the benefits of a new air conditioner: the U.S. Department of Energy. Consider:

  • Greater energy efficiency. “Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20 to 40 percent of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model,” the department says. The actual savings largely depends on the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), or the amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output. Many older air conditioning systems have SEER ratings of six or less; the minimum SEER allowed by manufacturing standards today is 13. This means that today’s best air conditioners can be more than 50 percent more efficient than older models. If math is not your strong suit, Charlie’s can help you figure out how long it will take you to recoup the investment in a new air conditioning system, factoring in your lower utility bills (and assuming your home is well insulated and the ducts are structurally sound).
  • Reliability – and the ensuing peace of mind. You can put a price tag on an air conditioning repair; you cannot put a price tag on knowing that a new air conditioning system liberates you of the anxiety of unexpected breakdowns and repairs. On the off-chance that a malfunction does occur, a new air conditioner is covered by a warranty.
  • Improved indoor air quality. Today’s high efficiency air conditioners include variable speed motors, which work hard to ensure better air flow and work even harder to remove impurities from the air.
  • Quieter operation. Here’s one “problem” you’ll probably love to have with a new air conditioner, especially if your current air conditioner is one noisy contraption: a slow, steady hum that fades easily into the background.
  • Safer, climate-friendly refrigerant that doesn’t ravage the environment, as mandated the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Enhanced marketability of your home. A new air conditioner is enormously appealing to home buyers. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home for five to 10 years, the investment you make today will pay you dividends in the future.

There’s one other benefit that the department of energy cannot attest to, but Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning can: in the course of serving homeowners in northeastern Florida since 1998, we have never heard anyone express “buyer’s remorse” over purchasing a new air conditioning system. In fact, with the benefit of hindsight in their rear-view mirror, they usually say that it was one of the best investments they ever made in their home.

If you think the time has come for you to reap the benefits of a new air conditioning system, call Charlie’s for a consultation. We’ll put you in the driver’s seat of this important decision — and help you stop sweating the details.