Winter is the ideal time to think about replacing air conditioner units because they’re out of season. You won’t be inconvenienced by the loss indoor comfort, the HVAC contractor has more time to devote to the project, and you might get a better deal.
If you do go forward, make sure that you replace both the indoor air handler and the outdoor condenser at the same time. You may have heard or read that it’s possible to replace them individually, but in reality, it’s not practical except under special circumstances.
How They Work
Central air conditioners circulate the refrigerant to get rid of your home’s heat by using copper tubing in the shape of coils. The evaporator coil sits inside the air handler and the condenser coil is outdoors in condensing unit. In order for the air conditioner to work as efficiently and dependably as the manufacturer intended, the coils have to have the same capacity and use the same refrigerant.
Look for Certification
When you replace just one component of the air conditioner, you run the risk of installing a unit whose coil doesn’t have the same capacity or use the same refrigerant. The only way to be sure is to ask the contractor for the certificate from AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute) that says that discloses the air handler or condenser are compatible with each other.
Unless AHRI certifies that they match each other, replacing air conditioner units could be risky. If the coil capacity is different, the units won’t work as efficiently or as durably. If they require different refrigerants, the system may not work at all.
It is possible to replace a single component as long as it matches and is available. Changes in energy efficiency standards or other HVAC technology often make older model components obsolete and hard to find.
If you’re considering replacing air conditioner units, give the pros at Beyer Boys a call. We can help you decide the best direction to take to save your energy dollars without sacrificing comfort.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).