Robert Lamoureux | Looking for some hot tips on a cool AC

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

Question: Hi Robert. My wife and I want to replace our AC unit. It is 18 years old. The capacitor has been replaced twice in the last five years. Other than that, the AC works fine. However, it is not going to last much longer, and there are more efficient models on the market. I want to be proactive. How do we evaluate AC units other than online reviews and comparisons?  

My wife wants a quiet unit. That is difficult to determine in an online review. The HVAC company we have used for 20-plus years is reputable and I trust them. However, they recommend Carrier. We currently have Lennox. They both have a good reputation but what if I want Lennox or some other brand? Is there a company that supports any brand, and how do we go about hearing them in action for the noise factor?  

I am not looking for the least expensive model and option, but for reliability and dependability. Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you. 

— Nick  

Answer: Nick, thank you for writing in and being a loyal Signal reader. It’s nice to hear that there are still proactive people like you out there. So many times, I get people calling after the unit has failed. Maintenance is a huge asset to keeping the condenser alive. The refrigerant is like the water in your radiator. If it’s low and runs hot, this will cause the compressor to get hot and fail.  

In my opinion it’s critical that you have your HVAC company come out annually and check your unit for the refrigerant. Filters, depending on the amount of traffic in the home including pets, need to be changed monthly or bimonthly. If you have pets, you want to change them monthly.  

Both the manufacturers you mention are great companies and have great equipment. The newer units are way more efficient and are rated by SEER. The higher the SEER the more efficient they are. You can go with either manufacturer and you’ll be thrilled.  

As far as the decibels, I’d recommend you talk to your installer and ask him for the DB rating for each of the units. I hope this answers your questions. Best of luck, Robert. 

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