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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

Let’s Do Some Forward Thinking About Your Home Cooling

air-conditioning-with-flowersFall is one of the best times of the year to start thinking about your Lake City, FL, HVAC system. And not just the heating system, which you don’t rely on nearly as much as your air conditioning system in the Florida climate. This is a good time to consider the future of your home’s central cooling system because it’s much easier to make changes during the upcoming cooler weather, and you’ll be under less stress regarding the heat.

So let’s work together and think ahead, not just to next summer but the summers after it, and see what we can do for the best central cooling for your household.

The Repair vs. Replace Question

We discussed this in our last post, and it’s always the biggest question when it comes to cooling a home: When is it no longer worth it to keep repairing an air conditioner and instead invest in a replacement? We recommend replacing an AC that’s over 15 years old, even if it still appears to be working fine, and we also recommend leaving repairs aside if their cumulative cost during a year is more than half the price of a replacement.

Upgrading the Thermostat

If you don’t think you’ll need to replace the air conditioning system in the next few years, one upgrade to consider is to replace your current thermostat. What kind of thermostat do you currently use? If it’s a manual thermostat that uses a dial or sliders, we advise looking into getting a new one. The same applies for an old digital thermostat without many features. The current programmable thermostats can make a significant difference in convenience and energy savings, and you might also want to look into a Wi-Fi thermostat with “smart” features.

A word of caution about thermostats: they need professional installation. A new hi-tech thermostat may be mismatched with the HVAC system and end up damaging it. Let our experts help you with thermostat selection and installation.

Changing to a Heat Pump

You may not have a new air conditioner installed this year, but if you think a replacement is coming withing the next couple years, you may wish to broaden your search and think about a heat pump. Heat pumps are well-suited to our climate because of their efficient heating power that requires outdoor warmth to work. But for a heat pump installation to be worthwhile, it must replace both your current AC and heater. This is where planning is helpful: you can time the replacement for when your electric furnace is also ready for retirement. (Please don’t wait too long on either system, however, if it’s clear one of them is failing!)

Zone Control

Zone control allows you to divide your house into different “zones” that can have their climates controlled separately from each other. To have zone control installed into your house requires putting dampers into the ductwork and setting up zone thermostats; it’s best to have the job done when a new HVAC system installation, and we recommend thinking about having this done when you do decide on a larger upgrade.

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