AC Installation & Replacement Services in Houston
With almost 100% certainty, I can say that no one has rolled out of bed and proclaimed, “Today is the perfect day to shop for and install a new AC and heating system.” Do you know why I know this? Because HVAC companies like Nick’s Air Conditioning get phone calls daily from people who had NO idea they’d be replacing and installing a new central HVAC or ductless mini-split heat pump system that day.
How Long Should an HVAC System Last?
The lifespan of an HVAC system can vary, depending on numerous factors, including the system’s quality, the amount of maintenance the system has received, usage patterns, and the environmental conditions it has to work under.
On average, a well-maintained, high-quality HVAC system can easily offer you between 15 and 25 years of reliable service. Of course, the longer your HVAC system lasts, the more likely you are to encounter the need for HVAC repairs from time to time, with compressor motors, blower fans, and heat exchangers failing while the system itself has plenty of life left.
Regular HVAC maintenance that includes changing air filters, lubricating moving parts, inspecting electrical components, and monitoring refrigerant levels and pressures can help prolong the life of any HVAC system.
What are the Signs I Might Need HVAC System Replacement?
Sure, your HVAC system may be 20 years old and still running well, but it’s doing so far less efficiently, and it certainly isn’t performing nearly as well as a new system can. HVAC replacement is inconvenient, costly, and often seems to be required at the worst possible time, like the middle of a Houston summer or a February in Maine.
Nothing lasts forever, and that’s true of even the most reliable, efficient HVAC system you can buy. But how do you know it’s time to stop putting money into HVAC repairs and install a new, up-to-date system?
Much of an HVAC system’s efficacy depends on how old it is and how well it has been maintained. Any system older than 15 years and requiring significant repairs –we define “major” as the repair will cost 50% or more than the cost of a new system—is recommended to be replaced.
Increasing Energy Bills
It could be a sudden jump in energy costs, or it can creep up slowly over a few months, but higher utility bills indicate that your HVAC system may be packing it in. Worn components and the electrical issues they cause in the HVAC system cause your unit to use more electricity to maintain the desired temperature. Installing a brand new Trane® whole-house HVAC system or a Mitsubishi Electric ductless mini-split unit can help save as much as 33% on energy usage.
Like mentioned earlier, any system with a lifespan of 15 – 25 years will require maintenance and certainly a few repairs over that time. Replacing the occasional major component like a condenser or exhaust fan motor is to be expected once. Still, if you find yourself visiting with the local HVAC technician regularly, it’s time to consider a new HVAC installation.
Uneven Cooling or Heating
The HVAC system that used to effectively cool and heat your entire home without breaking a sweat now seems to have trouble keeping all rooms in the house comfortable. Most commonly affecting the rooms that are the farthest distance from the indoor air handler, uneven cooling or heating is a sign that your HVAC system can’t keep up with the demand you place on it.
As compressor bearings wear out, the unit can’t pressurize the refrigerant effectively enough to produce cold air for your home. Dirty, corroded heat exchangers no longer have sufficient surface area to apply heat for the cold air to circulate and warm up, leading to chilly rooms.
Poor Indoor Air Quality / Strange Smells
Any increase in dust, allergens, or other airborne pollutants can be a sign that your HVAC ductwork has developed a tear, which draws air directly from the attic –or inside the wall—and deposits it directly in your family’s living space.
The most commonly used residential ductwork, Flex-duct, is essentially a sheet of plastic surrounding a massive Slinky toy. After a decade or so of exposure to the temperature and humidity extremes of your attic or in walls with outdoor exposure, the plastic outer sheathing can break down, causing air leaks.
When is the Best Time to Install a New HVAC System?
Every professional HVAC company will tell any customer who asks that the best time to plan an installation of a new system is in the spring or fall seasons. The weather makes these seasons an appropriate time to replace an HVAC system, as they get much less use in those months. It is also easier for dealers like us to source new systems and keep a few popular ones in stock so that we can install them on the same day in some instances.
How to Choose the Right HVAC System.
Measure Home’s Heat Load
The first step in getting the perfect HVAC system will be having a professional technician calculate your home’s heat load. The overall square footage of the house, ceiling heights, and even the number of occupants that live in the home will affect this measurement. Other factors used in the measurement process will be the number of windows and doors and the amount and type of insulation you have.
Sizing the System
Once the heat load numbers have been crunched, your HVAC technician will know your desired HVAC system size. Nick’s Air Conditioning exclusively offers Trane® Technologies HVAC Systems or Mitsubishi Electric ductless mini-split units. Sizes for HVAC systems range from 1 ton to 5 tons, and our ductless units can produce as much as 48,000 BTU output.
As the world becomes more concerned about the effects of climate change, much of which is a direct result of the by-products of air conditioning, the efficiency ratings of your HVAC system are almost as important as its performance numbers. Energy Star Certification, SEER Rating, and BTU output are three of the most important statistics that will determine the best system for your home.
How Much Will a New HVAC System Cost?
The cost of installing a new whole-house HVAC system can seem overwhelming when the estimate first arrives, and for a good reason. The HVAC system in your home is the most expensive appliance you’ll ever have to replace, with most installations falling in the $10,000 – $18,000 range. Variables in price are related to the size of the unit, the condition of existing ductwork, and higher performance and efficiency ratings.
Ductless mini-split systems start at around $4,000 installed and, with additional indoor air handlers and features, can reach the $10,000 mark.
Trust Nick’s Air Conditioning with Your New HVAC Installation!
Nick’s Air Conditioning offers new whole-house HVAC systems from Trane® Technologies and Mitsubishi Electric ductless mini-splits, but also installs any customer-purchased HVAC system. Call Nick’s today to speak to one of our HVAC experts and schedule an HVAC assessment of your home to determine the best system for you and your family.