Are you trying to keep cool and keep your energy bills down?
Replacing an old central air conditioning system can help you do just that but you do have to shop carefully.
Some systems are better at keeping their cool than others.
Contractor Tim Mosher said it's important to take good care of a central air conditioning system.
"The preventative maintenance in the beginning of the season is better than having to have a serviceman come out during a heat wave."
Consumer Reports said carefully choosing an air conditioning system can help you avoid service calls, too.
Its latest product-reliability survey shows some central air systems have been significantly more repair-prone...Amana, Goodman and York.
"In the past six years, close to one in five of these systems needed repairs. That's a lot."
Consumer Reports' survey also shows how inconvenient repairs can be.
Ten percent of those polled said they needed repeated repairs in the first year, 18 percent reported their system broke down completely and 39 percent lost A/C for at least a day.
"About 30 percent who had problems had to pay $150 or more for the repair."
To prevent having to call a repairman, Consumer Reports said invest in a more reliable brand, including ones from American, Standard, Rheem or Trane.
Also, plants and hedges should be at least two feet away from the air conditioning unit.
Clean filters and grills monthly and be sure to seal and insulate every duct.
"Up to 30 percent to 40 percent of energy can escape through leaks when ducts aren't insulated."
Another energy saver, use a programmable thermostat and set the temperature higher when you're out of the house.
The survey also found homeowners who hired the installer themselves versus those who let a home builder do the hiring had significantly fewer repairs.
Once your system is installed, it's important to get it inspected by a professional at the beginning of every cooling season to avoid repair problems.
We received a letter from the York representative in Norman and we wanted to publish it:
On the air conditioning story: The story presented ratings for central air conditioning equipment as stated in consumer reports and actually named the brands on the air. The data used by consumer reports is actually quite old and does not represent the current state of products. Since the York brand air conditioning products are produced in Norman, OK and Wichita, KS, it would have been nice to get a manufacturer's side of the story and let them present the data and trends they collect. It is a well supported fact that 70 to 80% of the issues with home A/C equipment is directly related to the installation. Manufacturers spend huge amounts of money and time trying to provide training to improve this area. The Moore-Norman Vo-Tec has a test lab with York equipment set-up so that we can provide training to contractors and dealers. This would be a great opportunity to showcase what an OKLAHOMA based manufacturing company is doing. Many A/C manufactures are continually moving their production to Mexico and China, but York has maintained that they want to keep their plants in the USA. One of the brands highlighted (Trane/American Standard) are now buying Chinese A/C producted branded for them. Please take time to highlight a good Oklahoma manufacturer trying to keep products in the USA. Please contact me if you would like to find out more.
Director, Commercial Product Management
York UPG - Norman, OK