This is longer than the usual blog. But reading it can save you hundreds of dollars. So, if you are thinking about replacing your air conditioner, read on.
Most AC replacement companies run advertisements that read something like,
“Only $_________ for a new ____ ton _____ SEER high-efficiency AC system.”
This could lead you to believe price, tons, and efficiency are the only considerations when the time comes to replace your air conditioner. Worse yet, many AC replacement and AC service companies believe the very same thing.
Granted, if you consider only these three points your purchasing decision becomes very simple. Selling also becomes very simple. The reason many companies lead with this offer is (can I say this in a blog?!) they are either lazy or ignorant – or they think you are. A company that makes an offer based on price and efficiency alone (the ‘tons’ is typically not a choice) is not showing you, the customer, the respect you deserve.
Here are the 5 things you should consider when purchasing a home AC system replacement. By carefully considering your AC options, you will make a better buying decision. In the long run, you will be a happier homeowner.
More than a Decade Has Passed
If you are considering replacement, your present air conditioner is likely aged 10 years or older. That means everything else has also aged. Ducts, grilles, drains, wiring, and other parts of the AC system should be considered when you buy a new air conditioner. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link. The same is true for your new air conditioner. Old ducts, insulation, wiring, and the like, will render it a little more reliable than your old air conditioning system.
In the last 10 years or so, you may have entered a new season of life that changes the way you use your home. The kids may have grown and moved out. Or, perhaps you put on a new roof, added a swimming pool or upgraded your windows. These changes in use and lifestyle must be addressed with the help of a knowledgeable and capable home comfort consultant.
You are Purchasing More than an Air Conditioner
Whether at home, work, in the car or on a vacation get-away, the reason we have air conditioners is to ensure personal comfort. For many, allergies, age or infirmity make the AC system a necessity for health and well-being. The air conditioner reduces humidity and inhibits the growth of mildew and other biologicals. Appropriate accessories actively remove indoor pollutants such as particulates, odors, and airborne microbes.
If comfort, health, air quality or other airborne issues are important to you, then be certain your purchasing decision goes beyond simply buying a new air conditioner. If you are to meet these important home comfort objectives, now is the time to act on them.
The Brand of the AC is Only Part of the Picture
In my experience, I have learned that most major brand equipment will do its job well if correctly installed and properly maintained. It is equally true that even the best and most expensive brands will let you down if installation errors are made or if maintenance is neglected. The choice of a brand is, therefore, far less important than the choice of a contractor. Furthermore, your choice of a contractor should take into account the quality of the installation as well as the thoroughness of their maintenance program, to name a few aspects.
Also, the brand that served you well for many years may not be the best choice today. The same holds true of the “one my neighbor installed, and he is really happy with it.” The AC industry continually advances toward higher efficiency, lower environmental impact, lower production cost, and internet-connected electronics. Consequently, equipment manufacturers go through learning curves and cycles of product problems. Often, what works well in the rest of the nation does not perform reliably in South Florida (think humidity). At Complete Comfort, we install and service thousands of air conditioners every year. We are in a good position to know what brand offers you long-term reliability and satisfaction. Those are the brands we recommend.
AC Price Versus Value
A favorite quote comes from John Ruskin, an 18th century English poet and critic. Commonly known as The Common Law of Business Balance, it goes like this:
“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
For 2019, Ford offers the Fiesta sedan (as low as $14,260) and the 2019 Ford GT (entry level $500,000). Despite wildly different prices, each offers good value to someone. If you can discern value from price, you will make far better decisions whether it be automobiles or air conditioners. We understand you don’t want to pay too much. However, with easy financing available to nearly all homeowners, there is little reason for you to pay too little.
Hidden Things Are Important
“Why do you need to go up there?” asked the homeowner. “The other salesman didn’t look in the attic,” she continued. Out of sight, out of mind, the ductwork had not entered the other company’s presentation for AC replacement. Ductwork is the ‘air distribution’ part of your AC system. Leaky, deteriorating or poorly engineered duct can have an immense effect on system performance, operating cost, and comfort.
Duct systems have a maximum life expectancy of between 25 and 30 years. For fiberglass, ducts’ deterioration is noticeable after 10 years, sooner if subjected to moisture or abuse. The same holds true for wiring, drains, insulation, and the like. Ductwork and other upgrades are not ploys to get more money but, rather, ensure your long-term satisfaction with the major investment you are about to make in your home.
The decision to replace your central air conditioning system is a major one, and vital to your long-term enjoyment of your home. As professional AC installation and service contractors, it is our pleasure to provide you with the information and understanding to purchase the AC replacement that is best for you.
Our name says it all – we are here to ensure your ‘Complete Comfort.’ We hope you will call us today at 561-529-6262 or get in touch for your next AC installation or replacement. You can also check us out at https://www.mycompletecomfort.com/.