Frankly, I don’t know the answers to either yet. We moved from a 20-plus-year old, two-story colonial in the Chicago metropolitan area to a new construction one-story ranch half the size well outside that metro area, so our natural gas and electric costs are less, probably from a combination of a number of factors which are still offsetting the rising costs of those energy sources.
Being the good industry fellow I am, I signed up for a service contract with the local a/c contractor that installed the unit. The fellow was out a bit ago for the spring checkup of the unit and all was well.
Of course, where we live may not be a true measure of how well a/c really needs to work. The service call had to be postponed once when the temperature on the first scheduled service call day didn’t get above the predicted 65° F needed to properly run a test of the unit. As of late May, temps had been bouncing all over the place - from 80s to frost warnings - but the “on” switch had yet to be thrown for the a/c.
But stayed turned for upcoming blogs on adventures with those strange bedfellows - 13 SEER and R-22.