When Is It Time To Buy A New Air Conditioner?
As they say, nothing lasts forever. The same goes for your AC.
We depend on air conditioners not only for that comfortable cool but also for reduced humidity which would otherwise cause discomfort to people who are looking forward to relaxing in temperature-controlled indoor environments. Nevertheless, we tend to take these appliances for granted and only take notice when we have already encountered problems. However, it is important to look after them from time to time.
While regular tune-ups and proper maintenance may stretch its lifespan, you must accept the fact that you will still need to replace your air conditioning unit at some point.
Buying a new AC unit can be a costly endeavor, but you might thank yourself later for not having to put up with frequent repairs that only add to your worries. If you keep avoiding the inevitable, you might actually end up having to spend more in the long run. In any case, all roads will lead you to getting a new AC.
But when is that perfect time during which you can tell yourself that you’ve truly maxed out your AC? To save you the trouble of a guessing game and regret, here are the telltale signs that your current AC has to go into retirement:
It’s been with you for more than 20 years
Sure, your AC may still be running despite its age, but it’s likely to be on its last legs. While air conditioners typically last from 10 to 15 years, you can keep a properly maintained unit for up to 20 years. Consider yourself lucky if yours has reached 2 decades. You’ve definitely got a great return on your investment and then some.
You will also benefit from having an extensive warranty because most AC components are exorbitant, especially if it turns out that your problem is the compressor. However, if you are past your warranty, replacing parts will not be practical because the cost you will pay is almost the same as buying a replacement of the entire unit.
Take for example the refrigerant used by older models, which is R22 freon. Since it will soon be phased out, it will be very expensive if you need to replace it. Getting a new one will basically eliminate repeated repair expenses which will then make more financial sense to you.
You have unusually high electricity bills
Air conditioners are ideally energy efficient because we use them all the time. As such, a regular household will spend around 40% of their utility bills in cooling or heating their homes. If you’re paying more than this average yet with the same usage, it is likely that your AC system is no longer working effectively because it reduces its efficiency by as much as 9% as it gets old. This corresponds to a SEER rating lower than 13 which is the number that newer AC models possess to maintain its economical use. Replacing the old AC may cost a pretty penny, but you will make up for it by having lower utility charges.
Air Conditioner no longer provides you with enough cool
Do you wonder why your room isn’t as cold as it was, thinking it must be that extremely hot outside during that day? Perhaps the reason your AC cannot cool your space properly is that AC is already struggling to do so. You will notice this right away when you turn on your unit. It should blow out cold air in minutes. If it doesn’t, then there could be a serious problem with it. Factored with its old age, your AC has served you well and it’s time to say goodbye to it.
There are moisture and leakage
One of the essential functions of an AC is reducing humidity levels by cooling extracted warm air indoors. Thus, it is common for air conditioners to have dripping water outside given this process. With the aging of the appliance though, you will notice that it can no longer handle the humidity inside which can cause a fog formation on your glass windows. You will also find your vents to be moist, which would make your indoors retain its humid environment. A more serious issue would be a refrigerant leak where you will often find water pools forming every time your AC is turned on. This can be a health risk that needs to be addressed immediately.
It operates noisily
It’s never a good sign when your central air system starts to make weird noises such as banging and squealing. It can only mean one thing – something is wrong with it. Or because it’s old that it’s already begging for a replacement. Moreover, when it begins to have a moldy or musty smell, it’s another sign that your air conditioner should bite the dust.
Annual maintenance is key for your furnace to operate at maximum effectiveness. A dirty furnace has to work harder and will cost more to operate—increasing your utility bills.Read More
Having an AC runs the risk of wasting precious energy and money if you’re not careful. Hopefully, you won’t fall victim to that with this guide.Read More
When the temperature rises, don’t be caught simmering in the hot summer heat! The last thing you want on the first really hot day of summer is to find your central air conditioner doesn’t work.Read More
We talked with our rep over at Aprilaire, Tom Bentley, who leads the learning development. We asked him in a Q&A session to explain more about how furnaces and humidifiers work together.Read More