Is it Time to Upgrade Your HVAC Unit?

Ask about Energy Star complianceThe federal government recommends that homeowners upgrade/replace air conditioner/heat pump units that are more than ten years old. The main reason for this, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency is “ENERGY STAR qualified air conditioners and heat pumps offer significant long-term energy savings.” Replacing central air conditioning/heat pump units 10 years or older can save at least 20 percent on energy use.Here is a checklist from ENERGY STAR, that outlines when and why you may need to replace your unit. Among the reasons listed are:

  • Your air conditioner/heat pump is more than 10 years old: Older units may not be as efficient. New units can save up to 20 percent on cooling costs.
  • You need frequent repairs and your energy bills are going up: Your equipment may have become less efficient.
  • Your equipment system is noisy: You could have a problem with the indoor coil of your equipment.

Pay Yourself Back Fast

Upfront costs for your new, energy efficient equipment are offset over time by the energy savings you will see if you choose a high-SEER unit. This payback period (the period of time it takes before a consumer recoups, through lower utility bills, the price increase of the more efficient units) can be trimmed down with government or manufacturer rebate programs.

Cool ChoicesSome manufacturers offer incentives, such as Carrier’s Cool Choices promotion which awards up to $1,200 in rebates to “consumers who purchase and install a new heating and cooling system in their home—the better the system, the bigger the rebate.”

Look for Energy Efficiency

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is an indicator of how efficient your unit will be. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit and the lower the operating cost. So, it is advisable to shop around for high-SEER units.


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