Many people wonder how long their central air-conditioner should last. While most last 12 to 15 years, numerous factors do figure into this equation. Properly maintained your air-conditioner could last up to 25 years. Plus, it can be more cost-efficient to replace the unit if your system is more than 10 or 15 years old due to the potential costly repairs and the energy efficiency of newer units. Warranties on most system are only ten years. They often drop to five years if not registered promptly.

How much more efficient are newer AC units?

Air-conditioner efficiency ratings are generally measured in SEER ratings. But what is a SEER rating and how is it measured? A SEER rating stands for seasonal energy efficiency rating. Most AC units more than 10 or 15 years old have a SEER rating of 7 to 10. Current standards since 2005 require a SEER rating of at least 13, while ones that carry the energy star rating must be rated higher than 14. But, what does this mean to your utility bills?

How much will I save on my energy bill with a higher SEER rating?

A typical homeowner with an upgraded high-efficiency system will see a significant decrease in energy bills of up to 50%. Of course, this does vary with how much higher the system is rated. For instance, if the existing unit is rated at 7, and the new system is rated at 14, the cost savings in utility bills generally runs 49%, while a new system rated 16 can result in a 63% reduction in savings. So, does that mean you should automatically go with a higher SEER rating? No, not necessarily.

Should I get the highest SEER rating I can find?

Believe it or not, getting a higher SEER rating is not always your best bet. The SEER rating is only a predictor of potential savings under ideal conditions. The best SEER rating for you depends on multiple factors such as how often your air-conditioner is used, the size of your home and even the fan in your attic. To get the best system for you, consulting an air-conditioning expert such as J and C Services to identify which is the best for your budget and needs is your best bet. Call today to learn the best options for your budget and needs.