Updated: Jun 17
A difficult decision you’ll eventually have to make as a homeowner is when to replace your air conditioner. While sometimes spending to repair it can be a good idea, eventually it may become more costly to repair it than it would to get a new unit. There are a few tips you can keep in mind that will help you make the best decision on your air conditioning. Here are some signs you may need to buy a new air conditioning unit.
1. Constant Repairs
As mentioned in the introduction, it may be necessary to buy a new air conditioner if the cost is too much to keep repairing it. It’s important to compare the cost of the current repairs you need to have on your air conditioner with the cost of buying a new one. If the cost of the repairs would amount to only a majority of the cost of replacing it, it still may be more financially wise to get a new unit. Think about how often you’ve had to repair your current air conditioner. Choosing to purchase a new unit could mean you won’t have to pay for repairs anytime soon and potentially save money.
2. R22 Freon
If you’re unfamiliar with freon, it’s a cooling agent that’s used in many air conditioning systems. In recent years, the federal government has decided to phase out the use of freon in AC units in order to conserve more energy. This change is causing the cost of freon to rise. If you’re currently using an air conditioner that requires freon, it may be cost effective to get a new unit that uses the new refrigerant being used, which is R410A. In addition to the use of new refrigerants, the newest manufactured air conditioners are also now required to have a SEER rating of 13 or more. Getting a new AC unit that has a SEER rating of 13 or above will be helpful in cutting back on your energy costs.
3. Air Conditioner is Over 15 Years Old
Air conditioners generally have a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years. The air conditioners that are still used past this lifespan will only continue to breakdown and need new repairs. If you have to make a repair every couple of seasons or just had it serviced the previous year and it’s broken again, it’s a good sign you should get a new air conditioner. Air conditioners in many older homes don’t have the adequate insulation for today’s temperatures.
4. Energy Bills are Increasing
Review your energy bill in the last couple of years and see if it’s been rising. You should also check if the rates of your energy company have been rising or if there’s been a weather range that could explain the increased cost. If the rates of your energy haven’t been rising and the weather has been normal for the season, this could be another sign that your AC unit is the cause of your increased energy bill. If your AC unit has to be on more often and work harder to keep your home comfortable during the day, it’s a sign that it’s working less efficiently. A new air conditioner that functions efficiently will take less energy to cool your home, which will lower your energy costs.
5. Unusual Sounds or Odors
The typical sound level of an air conditioner should be fairly low. Minor noise issues in newer units can probably be resolved with a simple repair. If your air conditioner is old and starts to make more noises, such as grinding or screeching, this may indicate that you need to get a new air conditioner. As it relates to odors, the air that comes out of air conditioners should generally have a neutral scent. If at any point you notice a burning or smoky smell that’s coming from your AC unit, this could be a serious problem that may require you to get a new one.
All of these signs are a strong indication that it might be time to get a new air conditioner for your home. Be sure to weigh the cost of your AC repairs and the cost of buying a new one. If you’re still not sure of what to do, you can communicate with an HVAC specialist to get a better understanding of your options. You can contact us at Manning Mechanical for all your HVAC and air conditioning service needs.