Is It Time to Replace My Air Conditioner?

If your air conditioning unit is over 10 years old, you should consider replacing it, according to Energy Star. If you lived in a perfect world, you could wait 10 years (maybe even 15) before replacing your unit, but like with any type of mechanical equipment, air conditioners can wear out and need replacing sooner than their expected lifespan. So, should you start considering replacing your AC unit? 

Here are some ways to tell if it's time you replace your air conditioner.

  1. The Age of Your Air Conditioner

An important factor in determining if you need to repair your air conditioning unit or completely replace it is its age. Use the 5,000 rule. You multiply the equipment's age by the cost for repair. If it's higher than $5,000, it should be replaced. If it's less, you could probably get away with just having it repaired.

  1. The Efficiency of Your Air Conditioner

If your AC unit has a low SEER rating, it could be expensive to operate it. Presently, newly manufactured AC units must have a minimum of a "13" SEER rating. If your AC unit's SEER rating is below this, you could save money on energy costs by replacing your unit for a newer, more efficient one.

  1. The Frequency Your Air Conditioner Breaks Down

Is your AC unit constantly breaking down? Do you find you're calling the HVAC professional every month to come fix a new problem with your air conditioner? If so, the expenses for repairs can add up and keeping your older unit might not make sense anymore. You can save yourself some money and headaches by buying a new air conditioning unit.

  1. The Temperature of the Air Blowing Out of Your Unit

When your air conditioner isn't blowing out cold air anymore, that's a good indication something is wrong with it. From a broken compressor to low Freon levels, any number of problems could be a factor. Give the HVAC expert a call to come take a look. But, if the repair is costly, you might be better off replacing the unit instead.

  1. The Presences of Unusual Sounds Are Coming From Your Unit

If you hear unusual sounds like loud grinding, banging, rattling, squealing or other sounds it could mean there's something seriously wrong with your air conditioner like broken motor bearings or a belt slipping out of place. Turn your unit off and call in the experts. If you don't address the issue right away, it could lead to you having to replace the unit.

In some climates all that is needed is a whole house fan and in other climates a whole house fan is effective at night to cool the inside of the house when the temperature outside is cooler inside than outside. Whole house fans could save you a lot of money on your energy costs and relieve the need to use your air conditioner in the first place.