Replacing Damaged or Malfunctioning A/C Components: Systems Need to Match

Posted On: June 06, 2013

When your split system air-conditioner malfunctions, it generally needs to be repaired (or, if you are really unlucky, replaced). Replacing damaged or malfunctioning A/C components is something your qualified installer and maintenance technician can help you with.

Be forewarned, though, that it’s important for system efficiency, performance and longevity for your A/C’s inside and outside components (the evaporator/air handler and condenser/compressor, respectively) to match. Some homeowners are tempted, when just one component (usually the outside condensing unit) breaks down, to just replace that part of a split A/C system. Severe weather can often damage the outdoor condensing unit without affecting the inside component of your cooling system.

When replacing damaged or malfunctioning A/C components, one reason a matching system is important is that efficiency ratings for each part of the system should match. A/Cs manufactured since 2006 have minimum SEERs (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of 13. If your new condensing unit has a SEER of 16 and your indoor evaporator was rated 10, your A/C is not going to achieve he higher SEER rating. It’s preferable in this situation to pay extra money and install a completely new A/C system. While the upfront cost will be more than when you buy just one component, newer A/Cs are much more efficient, run more quietly, and provide more even cooling and better humidity control.

Unprofessional and fly-by-night contractors will often replace components with anything cheap. They may not mention that the indoor and outdoor components need to match – because they don’t care about your comfort or your energy bill, just undercutting the competition. Mismatched systems simply don’t work as well, and are likely to give you worse results, not only in cooling performance and energy efficiency but in humidity control and indoor air quality. They also are more prone to breaking down.

This means that you should always seek a reputable contractor and make sure they talk to you about system matching before going ahead with replacing damaged or malfunctioning A/C components. A good contractor will make sure that you get what you need.

If you are replacing damaged or malfunctioning A/C components, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling before you proceed. We’ll make sure you get the right – matching – components for your split A/C system.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about malfunctioning A/C components and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


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