Air conditioner replacement cost – how to plan for it
They say there’s a first time for everything in life, but in the nearly 20 years that Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving Jacksonville area homeowners, we have never heard a homeowner say, “Ah yes. Replacing my air conditioner is coming at exactly the right time for me. I’m overjoyed.” Air conditioner replacement cost is something that you should plan for.
The fact is, replacing an air conditioner is a major expense that never comes at the right time. And it’s one expense that most people don’t see coming, let alone budget for.
Think of Charlie’s as your advocate
Charlie’s technicians understand this reality, and they do everything they can to keep an air conditioner running as long as it can. Sometimes, ancillary factors explain why an air conditioner doesn’t work as it should. This is why our technicians check the filter and a home’ insulation and ductwork. Fixes here can be reliable and less expensive alternatives to the purchase of a new central air conditioning system.
But like other complex pieces of machinery – a car, a kitchen appliance and even a cell phone – an air conditioner has a very definite lifespan. Annual tune-ups by Charlie’s can help extend its lifespan. So can regular filter changes and prompt attention to what may seem like a minor problem or nuisance, such as a rattling or buzzing noise.
Heed the writing on the wall
Still, the writing might be on the wall: It might be time to replace your central air conditioner. While Charlie’s will make a recommendation that is in your best interests, we know that final decision rests with you. We hope you make this important budgetary (and quality of life) decision based on guidelines advocated by the U.S. Department of Energy. The department recommends replacing your air conditioner if:
- Your system is 10 years old or older. Taking the long view on purchasing a new central air conditioner can help soften the financial implications; today’s Energy Star furnaces score energy efficiency ratings in the 90s, which can help save you 20 percent on your cooling bills.
- Your repair bills are becoming more frequent and expensive. Like many other complex pieces of machinery, a central air conditioner stalls and malfunctions more often during the last two years of its lifespan. At some point, the “50 percent rule” guiding any repair can provide some perspective, meaning that if the cost of a repair represents 50 percent or more of a product’s value, you’re probably fighting a futile battle to keep it functioning. (And try not to confuse an annual tune-up with a repair. Tune-ups address maintenance issues; repairs address operational problems.)
- Your cooling bills are increasing and your usage patterns haven’t changed. Escalating utility bills can be a sure sign that your central air conditioner is working longer than it should to reach the temperature you’ve set on your thermostat.
- Your home’s indoor air quality isn’t what it used to be. Most often, faltering central air conditioners struggle to draw humidity from a home, which is second only to cooling in the basic function it should provide. Your indoor air also might be strangely imbalanced – and not just on two different levels of your home.
If you’re still trying to take the long view on replacing your an air conditioner, you might wish to review a previous Charlie’s article: “Add up the benefits of buying a new air conditioner.”
Then call northeastern Florida’s foremost heating and air conditioning experts to schedule an inspection of your air conditioner. Charlie’s knows that no two homes are alike and that no two household budgets are alike. When the writing is on the wall to replace your air conditioner, we will help you take the time to read every last detail — down to the letter. Remember, there are convenient financing options available through Wells Fargo!