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Time to replace that old AC unit? Tips for finding the unit your house needs.

You can resist for a while, maybe even years, but eventually you will have to replace your home’s old air conditioning unit. Instead of dreading the hassle and the expense of it, look at it as an opportunity to greatly improve your home’s energy efficiency and, in the long run, save a lot of money. Here are the three main things to keep in mind when air conditioning replacement becomes a reality for you.

You can resist for a while, maybe even years, but eventually you will have to replace your home’s old air conditioning unit. Instead of dreading the hassle and the expense of it, look at it as an opportunity to greatly improve your home’s energy efficiency and, in the long run, save a lot of money. Here are the three main things to keep in mind when air conditioning replacement becomes a reality for you.

Don’t skimp.

An investment like a new air conditioner or HVAC system is exactly that—an investment. It will not only improve the efficiency of your home’s energy usage but also improve your home’s value. And don’t worry—there are plenty of available financing options that make replacement very convenient. And you might need that because, if you’re like a lot of homeowners, your old AC system will probably give up the ghost when you least want it to—in the middle of a heat wave.

Get the right unit.

It’s essential to get the AC unit that is the exact size you need. An undersized system will be forced to run a lot longer and struggle to keep up, aging it prematurely. A system that’s too large is going to cycle on and off, causing spikes in your energy usage and a lot of wear and tear on the system. Like Goldilocks, you need to find one that’s just right. How? Your best bet is to call a reliable HVAC contractor who can calculate the exact square footage of your house, then steer you toward the system you need.

Efficiency is key.

If your home air conditioning unit is more than ten years old, it doesn’t have the seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) that is now standard. The SEER measures how much cooling power you’ll get for the energy output, not unlike the MPG rating of a car. The SEER ranges from 13 to 23—the higher the rating, the better the energy efficiency. Because most systems installed before 2006 are 10 SEER or lower, a new HVAC system could save you up to 62 percent in annual energy costs. This is how a new HVAC unit can literally “pay for itself” over a relatively short time.

You can try determining the size of the system you need by yourself. There is a manual calculator that takes into consideration your home’s square footage, how many windows you have, the amount of insulation in your attic, and many other factors.

In the end, though, it’s best to let your True Blue Heating & Cooling professional calculate precisely the air conditioning replacement unit with the right number of BTUs and the SEER rating your home needs to keep your home comfortable—and energy smart.