Are you considering replacing your old air conditioning system with a newer model? If your system is nearing 20 years old or has seen a great deal of hard use in its lifetime, such as being too small for the area it's supposed to cool. AC units also wear out faster in areas that experience high degrees of atmospheric humidity.
You May Be Eligible for Rebates and Incentives
If you decide to replace your old system with a high efficiency unit, you may be eligible for various rebates and incentives. These are available on federal, state, and local levels from both government agencies and from the utility companies themselves. These offers change constantly, so be sure to ask your HVAC supplier or contractor, and always check with your local power company to see what they have available -- local companies often have incentives that aren't advertised, so you have to specifically ask for them. If you buy an ENERGY STAR model, you can check for possible rebates and other special offers by searching by zip code on their website.
HVAC Technology Has Grown Tremendously
If it's been 10 or more years since you last replaced your household AC system, you may not be aware of certain remarkable advances in technology that serve to save significant amounts of energy. For instance, you can opt for a system that is equipped with a programmable thermostat, which will eliminate the need to manually control the temperature in your home. You can set your thermostat to a higher temperature during the hours you're away from home for work or school during the daytime so that you're not paying to keep the place cool when your aren't even there.
Other advances in AC technology include geothermal systems that use the cool air underneath your home to cool its interior instead of bringing hot air in from outside and running it through the cooling system before distributing it throughout the home via blowers. Dual-purpose HVAC systems are also available that can be used for cooling during the summer and for heating during the winter, eliminating the need to operate and maintain two separate systems.
Today's AC systems have bells and whistles their counterparts of the past only dreamed of. This includes smart technology that allows you to turn your system on or off or regulate your thermostat from a remote location using your smart phone or a computer. This is immensely helpful when abrupt changes in weather occur and you want to ensure that your home is comfortable upon your arrival. It can also help you if you leave a system on when you'll be gone for an extended period of time.
You're Better Off Replacing Your Unit in Winter
Unless your AC system is clearly on its last legs and not likely to make it through the summer, consider having it replaced in late fall or during the winter. You'll not only get a better deal on the overall cost, but the AC technician won't be working on a rushed summer schedule and will therefore have more time for your system. Because contractors are often scrambling to keep their employees occupied during these times, you also stand to save as much as 20 percent on installation costs.
AC purchases during summer are usually done in haste and might even involve having to choose from limited stock. If you're able to wait until fall, you'll be able to take your time exploring possibilities and make sure that you end up with the AC system that is best fits your individual needs and preferences.
For more information and advice about replacing your existing AC unit or heating system, contact a local HVAC contractor.