What to Know Before Replacing Your Air Conditioning System

Since replacing your air conditioner can be an expensive and often unexpected purchase, it’s important to have all of the facts.

Are you looking for greater energy efficiency or lower upfront costs? What size unit will be the most effective for the size of your property? Things can get complicated without a little research.

Air Conditioning Lifespan

New HVAC units have an estimated lifespan of 10-20 years. After a decade, a unit will be showing signs of age and will most likely be needing repair services more often. Ensuring that you have the right unit in your home could determine a couple decades of comfort.

If your unit is 10 years or older and you have been experiencing issues related to general wear and tear, a professional technician can determine if repair can fix the problem or if replacement would be more beneficial.

Picking the correct size unit is very important, and so is working with the right contractor. According to ENERGY STAR, half of all HVAC units are installed incorrectly, leading to excess energy use among other issues.

Energy savings alone is enough of a reason to get some background information in order to pick the right unit and the right contractor.

We want to help with the buying process. Here’s what you need to know before replacing your air conditioning system.

What to Know Before New A/C Replacement

Work with Professionals

As mentioned, working with the right company may be the most important decision in the buying process. When you work with the right contractor, you will be guided with honesty and integrity throughout the replacement process. You will get the right unit for the right price. When you work with the wrong company, you are more likely to get taken advantage of or have your unit improperly installed.

Work with the best company in your area. Ask around, check out reviews, look at a company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Even use the Heating & Air Conditioning Installation Bid Comparison Checklist by ENERGY STAR to screen your potential HVAC installers. Research and careful vetting upfront will save a lot of money down the line.

A/C Size

Size determines energy efficiency and overall comfort. Depending on the size of your property, you will need a different size unit. For example, if a unit is too small, it won’t be enough to properly cool your home and will run and run and run. If the unit is too big then it will cycle on and off and your utility bill will rack up the cost of this sizable mistake.

Load Calculations

Load calculations are necessary to determine the correct size air conditioning unit for the property. A calculation looks at the size of the building, climate zone, roofing material, orientation, and other factors essential to proper installation. Ask the contractor you are considering if they perform Manual J load calculations.

When you are being quoted a price for your potential new unit, size is a part of this. If a company is not discussing this essential element, then they are not a reputable HVAC company. Several things are considered when it comes to sizing and design. Be sure to work with your contractor and be aware of what size unit is being installed.

SEER Rating

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Since 2015, the minimum SEER requirement set by the U.S. Department of Energy is 13-14. Energy efficient classification is 14-22. Even if you are not looking for the most energy and environmentally conscious system, a good SEER rating is mandatory. Also the more energy efficient your system, the lower your monthly utility bills and the higher the overall lifespan. These are all things to consider before choosing your A/C replacement.

High-Efficiency Models

If you are looking to upgrade your current system to a new energy-efficient model, there are several options available. Always look for the ENERGY STAR label, as these are classified as the most efficient. These units will cost more upfront, but lower utility bills and a longer lifespan will save you green and be more green for the environment.


Knowing what it will take to upkeep the health and performance of your unit is part of the overall cost. Annual maintenance is essential to keep your unit clean and functional. Many things including indoor air quality and overall comfort are determined by whether or not your unit is properly maintained. Maintenance plans are offered by Service Champions and many reputable HVAC companies. Tune-ups help keep big repairs at bay and ensure you get the longest lifespan out of your investment.

Read our HVAC FAQ page for more information about your air conditioning system.

These essential tips will guide your search for the perfect HVAC unit. If you need any further assistance or are looking to hire a professional and experienced contractor for your HVAC installation process, don’t hesitate to contact Service Champions.

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