For residential homes, some countries set minimum requirements for energy efficiency. In the United States, the efficiency of air conditioners is often (but not always) rated by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient is the air conditioner. The SEER rating is the BTU of cooling output during its normal annual usage divided by the total electric energy input in watt hours (W·h) during the same period.
A number of other variables can influence your decision on whether to repair or replace your furnace, as well. In addition to cost and brand, consider the expected lifetime of your furnace. If it is more than 15 years old, it might make more sense to invest in a new unit even if it costs more than simply repairing the current problem. Long-term costs also play into the equation. For example, your new furnace may be more energy efficient than the current unit. Even though you will pay more for the actual installation, you might be able to make back your investment through lower energy bills. To make your decision, consult with a reliable professional on what to do. In inspecting your furnace, they will be able to make an informed recommendation that looks not just to the next year, but years into the future. That way, you can make the best possible decision for your home and budget long-term.
Replacing a capacitor is easy. Just take a photo of the wires before disconnecting anything (you may need a reference later on). Then discharge the stored energy in the old capacitor (Photo 4). Use needle-nose pliers to pluck one wire at a time from the old capacitor and snap it onto the corresponding tab of the new capacitor. The female crimp connectors should snap tightly onto the capacitor tabs. Wiggle each connector to see if it’s tight. If it’s not, remove the connector and bend the rounded edges of it so it makes a tighter fit on the tab. When you’ve swapped all the wires, secure the new capacitor (Photo 5).