The bulk of a new air conditioner purchase involves the physical air conditioner unit itself, but your system as a whole is made up of several components, many of which could benefit from some attention. When it's time to buy your replacement air conditioner, here are three services that can help your new system work even better.
Duct Inspection, Repair, and Replacement
If your ducts are as old as your previous air conditioner, there's a chance they may need some serious work to get them in proper working order for your new air conditioner. If they have lost much of their insulation and airtight seals or if there are any gaps, you'll lose any benefit from the increase in energy efficiency from your new air conditioner. Depending on the state of your ducts, you could be losing as much as 40 percent of your air before it even gets to the vents in your home, which is something you'll definitely notice on your energy bill no matter how efficient your air conditioner itself is.
If your old ducts can be repaired, they may also need to be cleaned. Gaps in ducts let in plenty of dust, and they can also let in plenty of pests, which can cause damage of their own and can pose health risks. If a detailed duct inspection isn't already something your contractor is doing, make sure it gets added to your list.
Though your air conditioner and your ducts do most of the work, you can still add a few other things to your house during the installation that will help make your new air conditioner even better.
The first is a programmable or smart thermostat. At minimum, being able to set schedules can help you save money and add some convenience, but smart thermostats can let you change settings via your phone or smart home assistant, give weather updates, and more. Check the purchase and installation costs for different thermostats to see what might work for you.
The second is new vents for your house. These can be helpful if you have ducts that don't allow you to change the flow of air; being able to change the direction air blows, as well as how much comes through, can help prevent hot and cold spots and inconsistent cooling through your house. If you want to get more advanced, look into home zoning systems to keep different parts of your house at different temperatures automatically.
Finally, if you're concerned about the quality of your air, ask about add-ons like purifiers and/or UV light systems. These can help kill germs and keep allergens out of the air coming through your vents.
A service contract lets you get certain annual services and maintenance for a flat fee rather than paying whatever a visit may cost at the time. This can help you avoid unwelcome surprises and keep up with maintenance you might otherwise forget about. With a brand-new air conditioner a service contract might not be cost-efficient for you, but there are situations in which they can still help.
First, see what kind of contracts are available to you and what they offer. Some have tiers, which means that if you want things like the inclusion of the cost of replacement parts, you may need to pay a little more. Do some research and see if the cost of a contract and what you get with it would be less than what you might normally expect to pay for annual maintenance on a new air conditioner that's still under warranty.
Next, ask your contractor about the benefits of a contract in your area. If you live in an area with mild weather, you might not need it, but if you experience more regular severe weather, the cost could be well worth it if you find a contract with the right options.
Contact an AC replacement contractor to learn more.