When the summer weather arrives in Murrieta, CA, you have to be ready. The best way to prevent getting caught off guard by a California heatwave is to prepare during the spring and fall months. At We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air, we have been helping clients do just that for several years. Here are some things to consider if you want your system to be ready for the summer heat.

The Current Condition of Your AC

First, look at the current condition of your AC unit. Take into consideration:
  • Its age
  • How well it has been maintained
  • How often it needs repairs
  • The cost of recent energy bills
  • If it leaks
  • If it makes hissing sounds
  • If it is providing 100% output

A residential air conditioning system is a big-ticket appliance. It is an investment that requires attention. Even though you do not use it year-round, the unit requires proper maintenance at least once a year. The filter has to be replaced, the parts must be lubricated, and the coolant should be topped off. During maintenance, a technician visually inspects the unit, tests it, and looks for any leaks. If there are any rattling noises, odd smells, or leaks, you will be notified because those signs signal a larger problem. Each one of those red flags can lead to replacement parts or repairs.

Every AC unit will eventually reach the point where it requires expensive repairs. It is simply what happens to all big-ticket appliances. Your vehicle goes through the same lifecycle. A car runs well until it reaches 30,000 miles. Once that milestone is reached, it is not necessarily downhill from there, but you’ll have to bring it to the shop for more intense tune-ups. You take it to the shop because you want to make sure you’re keeping up with the manufacturer’s recommendations. This helps to extend the life of the automobile as well as the warranty. The last thing anyone wants is for the vehicle to stop running in the middle of traffic on the freeway. It is just no longer safe to operate.

The same thing can be said for your AC unit. After a few years, maintenance will go beyond simply changing the air filter and topping off the fluids. Leaks are bound to happen because the coolant will eventually corrode the coils. From there, it is best to anticipate repairs that involve the fan or the motor. Once those repairs arrive, it is time to start doing some math. Let us paint a better picture by exploring some numbers.

What Are the Costs of Replacing an Inefficient Unit?

The average cost of a new air conditioner ranges between $1,200 and $1,800. The average annual repair cost is estimated at $319. On the low end, it can be as little as $125. However, the cost can go up to $459. When an air conditioner is truly reaching its end, the estimated average cost of repairs can be as much as $2,500.

There are many signs that let you know it is time for a new AC unit. Performance is one, and the cost is the other. A basic maintenance trip can cost around $69 when a pre-season special is being run. In between maintenance and repair costs, take a look at your energy bills.

If your bills continue to steadily rise even though there is no complementing increase in energy cost, there may be a problem with your AC system. Once the cooling system is no longer operating at 100%, the output drops. This causes you to run it longer at a lower temperature.

While the initial cost of a new air conditioning system may seem daunting, in the long run, you’re going to break even sooner than you might think.

Benefits of a New AC Unit

The HVAC industry is driven by technology. Just 50 years ago, many communities did not have access to electricity the way they do today. Before, homes were built with plenty of space in-between them. This allowed for the planting of trees. Those trees used to provide shade that helped to cool down homes. People also used to open their windows to take in the fresh morning and evening air, even in southern California. Today, houses are built closer together, and multi-unit buildings are more common. This means there is more dependence on electricity for cooling and heating. The result is a push toward energy-efficient appliances because the electric grid cannot handle the growing demand. AC units have become more efficient in the last five years, too.

When you purchase a new air conditioner, you’re receiving several of the latest energy efficiency features. The HVAC unit field is similar to the computer field. Computers are getting smaller, more powerful, and more efficient every year. With every new model, the prices continue to drop or remain reasonable. The same goes for air conditioning systems.

You do not have to purchase the latest model, but you will have the opportunity to purchase one that was released in the last five years.

Features of modern air conditioners include:
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smart connectivity
  • Energy Star efficiency
  • Programmable timer

There are different options available such as ductless, central air, and hybrids. If your property already has ductwork, you would not be able to take advantage of the ductless system in rooms with vents. If you have rooms that do not have ducts attached, however, ductless is a great way to go. Ductless and portable AC units allow for zone control cooling. This is wonderful for those who have bigger houses but only want to cool the room they are in at any given time. This is peak energy efficiency and a great way to save on energy costs.

Cost-Saving Benefits

A new AC unit also offers several cost-saving benefits. By opting for a model within your budget’s price range that’s also Energy Star-rated, you’ll be making a wise investment. Since the new system is going to operate at 100% capacity, you can rest assured that your home is going to receive 100% of the output. This means that you do not have to run it longer than necessary. That equals savings right off the bat. The new unit will not need any repairs or replacements in the near future either. That leads to even more savings. To keep it in good working condition, simply be sure to schedule regular maintenance.

HVAC professionals recommend that a cooling system be serviced at least once a year. For your new unit, double-check the manufacturer’s specs. It could require service twice a year. The fees you’re charged for basic maintenance will be more reasonable compared to what you would pay for replacement parts and repairs. That is a cost-savings benefit that offers peace of mind. Additionally, you are going to be comfortable indoors, which is priceless.

For more information about installing a new AC unit in your home, contact us at We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air in Murrieta, CA, today to schedule an appointment. We also offer air quality, heating, and plumbing services.

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