The Clearly when your AC system breaks down these are the last words you want to hear. Unfortunately, you may need a new AC unit but let’s look at the areas where you might need one and why. But before we get to that, let’s explore some other areas as well as an example of how not to buy a new system.
Life Expectancy: We get people new to the valley every year and their AC fails and needs to be replaced. They always comment that our unit in Chicago lasted 32 years. Well units in Chicago run about 350 hours a year in the cooling mode and units in Phoenix area run about 2200 hours a year in cooling mode. Huge difference. The median life of an AC unit is 12 years. 50% fail before that year mark and 50% fail after that mark. A new system will provide a Return on investment of 3-4 years.
Proper Installation: A unit that is not sized properly to cool the heat load of your home will short cycle adding significant wear and tear to the unit. Also a proper installation of the system determines the life expectancy as well. Over 90% of the AC systems installed are done so incorrectly. The biggest issue…improper airflow and over sizing.
Equipment Brand: Low cost equipment is low cost for a reason. Remember the Yugo or the Ford escort? Equipment costs can vary from $3000 to $5400 from our wholesale supplier. We service all makes and models, however, we sell Carrier’s Bryant product line. Its a consumer digest best buy as well as a reliable system.
Now, let’s examine why you might need to replace a unit. If you lose a compressor on a system that’s older than 10 years, we recommend a new system. If you have a refrigerant leak that cannot be repair it should be replaced. All other repairs are optional based on what your financial situation is, but a $900 repair could go for several years with continued maintenance.
When NOT to buy and get a second opinion. we were called out to a ladies house for low cooling. House was cool, but not cold. A service tech from a very reputable company showed up and went through the system and told her she needed a new unit. Her compressor Amp draw had “BIG FLUCTUATIONS” as denoted on the ticked. (Note, the condensing unit was less than a year old.) The service technician gave her a price for a new unit then proceeded to tell her that he could do it as a side job and save her a lot of money.
Let’s back up break this typical sales technique up into a few parts. First, compressor amps do fluctuate, so does the line voltage from the utilities. But to use the word “BIG” without quantification is using FEAR to induce a sale. Bad tactic and is very typical in this industry. Most techs are paid a sales bonus for pushing you into new systems. Their motivation is purely money. (that’s why PriceMyAC.com will not pay sales commissions.) Any good technician can sell a system the right way by providing the right data and letting the customer make the right choice. The first mistake is he failed to show the customer exactly what was happening so this is suspect. Secondly, he did not quantity the value of fluctuation. These are RED FLAGS people.
Now when the guy offered to do it as a side job alarm bells should be sounding in your head. This is stealing from his currently employer and it should be reported immediately to the company manager. The person should be asked to leave your house immediately. If they are willing to steal from their current employer, what kind of installation are you going to get???? Also note that since the techs are not licensed contractors your warranties are voided and should something terrible happen like they burn down your house or get hurt at your house, YOU’RE the one in big trouble. Your insurance company could refuse payments for damages and if they are hurt as unlicensed contractor, they can sue you for damages.