I'm seriously considering getting a new HVAC system. Current system is an ArcoAire split A/C model (unknown tonnage) that is 19 years old, my house is 1500 sq ft (single story, hvac system is outside and inside garage, only ducting in attic). The temps in Austin, TX have been hovering around 100-106 for about a month and my system is only cooling the house down to about 82-83 in the heat of the day. At night/morning it has no problems cooling to 78 or lower (normally I program the thermostat to keep the house at 80 during the day and 78 after 7pm)
I had freon added to the system but that didn't seem to help any. My electric bill last month was $142 due to the A/C running nearly all the time (double the previous month). Service guy recommeded changing the contact switch and cleaning out the blower but I have low confidence that those things will restore my system to peak cooling. There's most likely a leak in the system as well (because freon had to be added).
I'm leery of spending more money on this system (contact switch, clean blower, leak check, then fix whatever is leaking) due to the age of the system. My wife is willing to live with the current status for about 10 more weeks (when temps finally begin to come down) but I'm leaning towards getting a new system.
The local service company (Airco Mechanical, NATE certified according to Lennox website) suggested either a Lennox XC14 or XC16. The main difference I see between them is the XC16 has a two-stage compressor which would be more efficient, but I'm not sure that is worth thirteen hundred bucks. A friend of mine just had an XC16 installed (4-ton version, I would probably only need 3 or 3.5 ton) and the blower died 10 days later, not a good quality sign. But maybe that was just an aberration.
Whatever I get installed will be with the new freon, what's the opinion on replacing all the lines? The Airco guy says they would carefully flush all the lines because otherwise the R22 would cause corrosion with the new system and kill the compressor.