3 Ways to decide if you need residential air conditioning repair or a new system

3 Ways to decide if you need residential air conditioning repair or a new system

It’s really frustrating when your air conditioner breaks down in the middle of a hot summer afternoon as countless people who it has happened to can attest. The first thing to do, of course, is to call in repair services. However, in some cases, the air conditioning system is beyond repair and the home-owner will need to replace it. It can be a dilemma making the decision between having it repaired or shelling out and buying a new air conditioning system. Choosing between the two can be confusing especially when you don’t have technical knowledge of how these systems work. Often, people opt for the wrong one – costing them much more than necessary.

To determine whether you should have your air conditioning repaired or invest in a new one, consider the following factors:

Air conditioning unit

  1. Age of the unit

This is the first factor you need to consider. Age greatly affects the performance of your air conditioning system. Air conditioning units often come with a longevity recommendation. When your air conditioning has a 15-year mark and it’s only 10 years old, you may opt for repair services like air conditioning repair in McKinney. However, if it’s nearing the 15-year mark, a replacement may be the best decision. Trying to repair a unit way past its recommended year of service can be a false economy, costing you more in the long run.

Air conditioning maintenance

  1. Cost of repair and replacement

Air conditioning repair may sound cheaper than having to buy a new one, but this isn’t always the case. Some repair costs, including service charges and buying spare parts could add up and may cost you more than a new unit. In a case like this, opt for a replacement. Or, when the need to repair seems to occur more often than the usual, the total cost can be overwhelming. Hence, replacement is the wiser thing to do. Be practical on this one and look at it over the long term.

Air conditioning repair

  1. Energy efficiency

There are a lot of contributing factors when it comes to energy efficiency. First is the working condition of your unit. If the unit doesn’t produce as much cold air as it used to even after series of repairs, it’s probably time to buy a new one. Energy efficiency is also about your electricity bill. If you notice your bill is starting to sky-rocket over time and the air conditioning is the only possible suspect, invest in a new one. Finally, consider your space and the traffic in the area. If an additional person or persons are using the room or if the space became bigger due to home improvement projects, it’s may time to buy a new one. However, if the above cases are not among your current situation, you might consider repairing it first.

When you opt for air conditioning repair, make sure you hire the best repair service firm. If you decide to buy a new one, find the unit that is right size and output for your needs. Also, check for the Energy Star label that proves that the unit is energy efficient.

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Energy efficient options for cooling your home

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Living room cooled by a ceiling fancredit

Staying cool in your home does not have to mean watching your energy bills sky-rocket or cringing over your carbon footprint. Depending on the climate in your location, around 20-50% of your energy usage will go towards cooling your home, accounting for around 5-15% of your carbon footprint. If you’re looking for new and innovative ways to stay cool whilst cutting back on energy consumption, we’ve put together a list of ideas that you might find useful.

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Personal cooling alternatives

Keeping our bodies cool is usually the main reason for wanting to cool a home, however it’s important to realise that keeping your body cool does not necessarily mean that you need to cool the whole area around you.

  • Ceiling fans – Installing ceiling fans and ensuring that they are set to circulate in the right direction to keep the air cool in the area is an energy efficient option. It’s a well known fact that a good ceiling fan can help you feel up to five degrees cooler in warm weather.
  • Take cool showers – Rather than turning on the air conditioning, it’s a good alternative to take a cool shower in the evening or late afternoon in order to cool your body down when it needs it the most.
  • Peppermint essential oilPeppermint essential oil can be very effective to cool the skin when sprayed directly, however it’s recommended that you avoid using it near the eyes.

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Indoor home cooling

  • Check for drafts – To help seal the cold air in, you can apply weather-stripping, silicone caulking or foam sealant to doors and windows relatively cheaply. Insulating any electric switches or outlets, attic doors or crawl spaces is also effective.
  • Solar attic fans – Installing a solar attic fan will help to cool the hot air in the space, making it easier to cool the home and resulting in your home energy bill being up to 10% cheaper per year.
  • Increase insulation – Increasing the insulation in your attic, keeping your walls well insulated and installing double-glazed windows will all help to save energy by trapping more cold air indoors.
  • Close curtains – Keeping curtains closed can help to deflect sunlight and keep the room cool.
  • Use alternative cooking methods – Using the oven or stove in the afternoon or evening should be avoided as this can greatly increase the level of heat in the home.

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Outdoor home cooling

  • Plant trees – Planting native, deciduous trees will provide a shade for your home from the hot summer sun. In the winter, they will also serve as a solar heating option for your home when they shed their leaves.
  • Solar screens – Using solar screens on the outside of windows can make a large difference, and are definitely worth investing in. They are also removable, meaning that you can take them down in winter.

Air conditioned living roomcredit

Energy efficient air conditioning use

Although every effort can be made to cool yourself and your home without switching on the air conditioning system, there’ll be times where eliminating using the air conditioning may be impossible. Knowing how to use your air conditioning wisely is important to be energy efficient and get the most out of your efforts to keep your home cool.

  • Exhaust other options – Before turning on the air conditioning it’s important to make sure that you’ve tried every other possible method to cool your home.
  • Consider a small evaporative cooler – These use water blown through wet pads in order to cool the air.
  • Maintain regularly – Annual, proper maintenance of your air conditioning unit is essential in order to be energy efficient.
  • Replace old models – If your air conditioning system is over ten years old, investing in a newer, more energy efficient model can result in halving your energy consumption.
  • Keep it clean – Ensuring that the area around the outside compressor unit is clean will increase air circulation and provide more efficient home cooling.
  • Check air ducts – Climb into your crawl spaces to check for any drafts coming from the air ducts, as insulating them will decrease the loss of cool air and increase energy efficiency.
  • Close doors – Closing the doors around your house will help to keep the cool air trapped inside each room, especially if you have a two-storey home or high or vaulted ceilings. However, you should also consider your thermostat placement in order to avoid inaccurate temperature gauging.

Have you got any great tips for home cooling that you’d like to share with us and other readers? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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How to make a home more comfortable in hot weather

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Depending on whereabouts you live, the summer months can be unbearably hot or a bit of a washout. Obviously, if your local climate is cool, damp and miserable, your main problem will be staying warm not cool, but if your summer is likely to be hot and humid, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure your home is comfortable.

There are lots of efficient ways to keep a home nice and cool when the weather is hot. Some are very simple; others are more expensive. Either way, it’s definitely worth spending a bit of time getting your home ready before the hot weather arrives or you could end up suffering in the heat.

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Install air conditioning

They may be expensive, but air conditioning systems are the most effective way of keeping a home nice and cool when the temperatures rise. An air conditioning system is essentially a climate control device. It can be set to whatever temperature you prefer, be it reasonably warm or freezing cold. You can also adjust the temperature in different rooms, so if you prefer sleeping in a cool bedroom but prefer the living areas to be a few degrees warmer, air conditioning is ideal.

However, in order for an air conditioning system to run efficiently, it does need to be regularly maintained. Filters need to be checked once a month and replaced if necessary. Regular maintenance will improve the quality of the air circulating through your home and ensure the system runs economically. For best results, schedule air conditioning maintenance with an AC repair company in the spring so that any problems can be dealt with before the temperatures soar through the roof. That way you can enjoy a nice cool home even when it’s baking hot outdoors.

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Set the thermostat to the right temperature

It might be tempting to switch off the air conditioning if you’re leaving town for a few days, but this is a false economy. If you do switch it off, your home will soon heat up when it is hot outdoors and by the time you come home, the place will feel like an oven. Sure, it will soon cool down once the air conditioning kicks in, but the system will be placed under immense strain as a result. For this reason it’s much better to have the air conditioning running 24/7.

For best results, set the thermostat to a lower temperature at night when you need to sleep, and then turn it up during the day when you’re in and out or not at home. This will place less strain on your climate control system and help it to run more economically.

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Buy some fans

Electric fans are a quick way of cooling a room down when the weather is hot. Fans don’t actually cool the air down, but they do circulate it throughout a space, so a fan makes the room feel a lot more comfortable. If it is a warm and sticky night, plug a fan in so you can enjoy a gentle breeze wafting over the bed. It might be a bit noisy, but many people find that white noise helps them fall asleep.

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Close the windows

Don’t open the windows if the weather is hot. All this does is let the warm air in, not to mention the insects. Try and keep windows and doors closed during the day – especially if you have the air conditioning turned up. It’s OK to open windows at night, however, as this will provide much-needed ventilation.

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Shut the blinds and curtains

Always close blinds and curtains to keep the sun out when it’s hot. The thicker the curtains, the better, as thick fabric will block the sun more effectively. Some blinds are made from reflective fabrics, which is useful in rooms with a lot of direct sun, so consider buying this type of blind when you remodel your home.

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Create shade outdoors

A useful way of cooling a home down is to plant trees and foliage on the side of the property that gets the most sun. Trees and shrubs don’t grow overnight, but in the long-term they’ll be a valuable sunshade. If this isn’t possible, you should definitely make good use of blinds and curtains instead.

As long as you’re careful, it should be possible to keep your home reasonably cool, even during very hot spells. And if you’re in the middle of a heatwave, stay out of the sun as much as possible and drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.

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