Should You Replace Your New Home's Air Conditioner?

If you've just purchased a new house, you probably already have a laundry list of improvements and repairs that you want to make. Unfortunately, these honey-do lists often don't include higher-ticket items because they represent significant investments and are often major selling points during a purchase.

However, your HVAC system is worth examining, even if you had an inspector look the system over before your purchase. Unless you know your system is only a few years old, you may want to consider these three reasons to plan for a replacement sooner rather than later.

1. Unknown Maintenance History

A modern air conditioning system can typically last for a couple of decades, but only with proper maintenance. A poorly maintained system is more likely to fail, may run less efficiently, and will inevitably require more frequent and expensive repairs. Unfortunately, it's hard to know how previous owners treated your system unless they kept detailed maintenance records.

If the system is only a few years old, it's probably a good idea to keep it and start off on the right foot with maintenance. However, a system that's already fairly old with an unknown maintenance history may be a ticking time bomb. For older systems with signs of neglect, it may be a good idea to start looking at replacements to avoid a frustrating failure during the cooling season.

2. Poor Efficiency

Residential HVAC regulations are always changing. Upcoming changes require SEER 14 or 15 systems (depending on region), which are drastically more energy efficient than older minimum requirements. If your new house has an air conditioner that is a few decades old, the system likely has a much lower SEER rating than these modern units.

You can usually find a yellow energy efficiency sticker on your condenser (outdoor) unit that will tell you your current SEER rating. Once you find this value, use an online calculator to compare it to modern minimum-efficiency or high-efficiency systems. You may find that installing a newer system is a great option to reduce the long-term ownership costs of your new home.

3. Inadequate Cooling

Living in a home for many years makes it easy to ignore problems or adjust to them. The previous owners of your home may have been willing to overlook poor cooling performance, rapid hot and cold swings, or other unpleasant situations that can often develop with other HVAC systems. Of course, you're much more likely to notice these problems since they'll all be new to you.

If you find your system can't keep up with your cooling needs or provide comfortable, even temperatures, upgrading to a newer system might be a good idea. Advanced features such as variable-speed compressors and multi-stage blowers can ensure your new home stays more comfortable throughout the summer.

Reach out to an air conditioning installation service to learn more.