Determining When It Is Time To Replace Your A/C Unit
Your air conditioner is often an important, unsung hero during the summer season. It’s easy to forget, when you’re inside during the day, living your life, or sleeping comfortably at night, that the AC is working away in the background, keeping you and your family comfortable.
However, your air conditioner, like every other part of your home, is a fallible piece of equipment that may, one day, outlive its usefulness. When that happens, it’s time to retire it, and replace your AC with a new unit. But when will you know that that day has finally arrived? Keep an eye out for these signs.
You Require Frequently Repairs
During the optimal operational lifespan of an AC, there’s no reason to replace it when a repair job would be the more cost-effective option and add more years of reliable operation to your unit. However, while an occasional, rare repair to address an issue is acceptable, calling an HVAC expert regularly to address a new problem is not.
Frequent breakdowns are a sign that an AC unit is no longer able to keep up with the performance that is required of it. If you’re finding that your AC is demanding more and more attention from something else going wrong, it’s better to replace your AC with a new unit that will provide many years of reliable operation.
Your AC Is Old
You may have lived in your home an entire generation, raising a family, or you may find yourself having just purchased a home where something similar took place. In either case, one thing you should look at is the age of the AC unit there. Beyond a certain point, old technology should be replaced with a more efficient solution, or it should be replaced before the age starts to show and you end up dealing with more repairs.
In general, an air conditioner that is 10-15 years old should be replaced with a newer model. Over a decade of reliable operation means that such a unit is already behind newer models in terms of efficiency. If the AC is even older than that—some homes have been using the same unit for 20-30 years!—it’s definitely time to upgrade to a modern replacement.
Your Bills Are Going Up
An AC unit uses electricity to power itself, so you will usually see a bump in your electrical bill during the summer months as you rely on the AC more. But that increase should be nominal. What you shouldn’t see, is a sizable increase in your bills, especially if you aren’t using it any more than previous years.
A chronic increase in your electrical bills due to AC usage can mean only one thing; the efficiency is going down, and your AC is struggling to keep the home at the same temperature and is drawing on more resources to do so. A drop in efficiency may also coincide with a chronic repair problem, so this would be a good time to think about upgrading. Stop paying more on your cooling bills than you have to.
Your Square Footage Changed
Your AC was installed to provide you with the most efficient cooling for your home after careful measurement of the square footage of that space. Homes of different sizes require different AC capacities to properly cool the entire structure. It’s always important to fit an AC unit to the approximate size of the home for the sake of efficiency.
This means that if you’ve undertaken a major renovation, such as adding an addition to your home, or something even more drastic like adding a second floor, the AC you currently have will not be up to the task. If you’ve expanded the size of your home, you’ll need to reinforce the cooling with an entirely new AC unit to tackle the increased space. Alternatively, you may consider additional units, such as a window or ductless unit if you’re reclaiming space like an attic, where you may not want to build in extra ventilation ducts to get HVAC processed air into the new area.
If you’re in a situation where you think it may be time to replace your AC with a modern, more energy-efficient unit, contact us today. We’re ready to look at your current AC and home configuration and determine what kind of upgrade would best meet your needs.